Today on the blog we are going to talk about the Fiesta Mayor de Sants which is celebrated in the Sants neighbourhood of Barcelona. Just like the festival in Gràcia, the Festa Major is known throughout Barcelona.
This festival is held in commemoration of the town’s patron saint, Bartomeu. According to Barcelona legend, in the time of the Roman emperor Diocletian, this martyr lived in Sants, as did many other Christians in the area. Saint Bartholomew was flayed, which may explain why he is the patron saint of leather workers, such as skinners, refiners and tanners.
The festival started three days ago, on 24 August, and will end on 29 August 2021. The festival will be adapted to the health situation and all necessary protocols will be put in place to ensure maximum safety for all participants.
During the pandemic, two key departments will be the focus of attention: the health department, Marta Sorribes, director of CABO Numancia; and the commercial department, the pastry chef Joan Galimany, owner of one of the oldest and most emblematic establishments in the region.
Every year the main activities take place in different parts of the district; this year they are held in the gardens of Can Mantega and in the streets near the garden.
During the festival, we will maintain a garrison in the streets, this year it will be an aerial garrison with only eight squares and no competitions, as well as the traditional offerings in San Bartolomé, the church of Santa Maria de Sants and the neighbourhood market. Vehicle traffic will be restricted so as not to obstruct or hinder pedestrian traffic, thus avoiding crowds.
One of the main features of the festival is the decoration of the streets and squares by the neighbourhood associations. But popular culture is also very important and exists in various forms, including huge festive images of giants, castles building human castles and demons. Sants has numerous associations and organisations that promote these activities. And, as with any festival display, there is no shortage of dancing, sumptuous communal meals, Cuban songs from Havana, children’s workshops and street fairs, to name but a few.
We hope you enjoy this Fiesta Mayor!