The festival of Santa Eulalia or “La Laia” is a major festival of the winter season in Barcelona. It takes place on February 11, 12 and 13, 2022 in all the city’s neighborhoods with various activities. Its purpose is to commemorate Saint Eulalia, the co-patroness of Barcelona.
WHO WAS SAINT EULALIE?
She was a Christian and practicing child, born between the end of the 3rd century and the beginning of the 4th century. When she was 13 years old, this young girl faced the repressions directed by the emperor Diocleciano towards the Christian community. She then decided to address the governor of Barcino (modern Barcelona) to contest these acts. Despite her young age and her convictions, the governor did not wish to act. Indeed, he forced Saint Eulalia to renounce her religion. Not wanting to give in, she was sentenced to 13 martyrdoms for her 13 years of life and was finally crucified. She is buried today in the Cathedral of Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia in Barcelona.
MAIN ACTIVITIES OF SAINT EULALIE :
Most of the activities take place in the Plaza de Sant Jaume. This is where the inauguration and the famous castellers of Barcelona take place! Also organized are the “gegants” (giant walk through the city), the “correfocs” (fire show) and the sardanes (traditional dance). Music groups also travel through the city following different routes. The Saint Eulalia is for young and old alike!
CASTELLERS: HUMAN TOUR
As in all the great Catalan festivals, the castellers stand up to offer you an incredible show. Casteller comes from the word castell which means “castle, human tower”.
It is a Catalan tradition that represents an acrobatic prowess recognized by UNESCO as part of the cultural and intangible heritage of humanity. These towers are performed by people of all ages, all types, and all physical conditions. Each of them has an indispensable role. Indeed, the tower is composed of 3 parts:
– The Pinya (=pine cone): it is the base of the tower, it is on it that all the weight rests and it has for role to absorb the possible falls.
– The trunk: is the part that is between the base and the top of the tower whose role is to ensure their connection.
– The pom de dalt (= apple of the top): often ensured by children thanks to their flexibility and their lightness which allows them to climb on top of the tower with ease.
SARDANES: A MYTHIC DANCE
Considered the national dance of Catalonia, men and women dance together to the rhythm of the music played by the copla, holding hands while forming a circle. Are you ready for a wild dance to the rhythm of the copla?
CORREFOCS, A SPECTACLE OF FIRE AND DEVILS
Popular in Spain, this street show comes from a cultural activist group (1978) that wanted to create a fire show and a devil dance. Later, the public joined the show, which led to its popularity.
THE GIANTS :
Attend the parade of Eulalia in the streets of Barcelona!
The parade of the giants is a tradition in the Catalan capital during which they move and dance.
These characters of several meters are made of materials such as wicker, wood, worm, aluminum, or fiberglass and are supported by carriers.
Don’t hesitate, come to discover this emblematic festival in Barcelona!
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