Festa major matinee
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 / 8.30 AM Pl. de la Mercè, Pl. de la Catedral and Pl. Sant Jaume
The traditional festivity takes to the squares and narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter. A morning in this quarter during La Mercè leads festival- goers to the very heart of Catalan tradition.
Gralles are traditional instruments in the double reed family played by grallers as they parade around the streets of old Barcelona in the early morning, awakening the cityfolk and inviting them to join in with the celebrations.
Anyone that the grallers have failed to get out of bed will certainly jump to it once the trabucaires begin ring their gunpowder salvoes in the street. These traditional characters are a reminder of the bandoleers who once rendered homage to the patron saint by ring their guns.
A date with Barcelona’s tallest citizens… and its shortest. On the morn- ing of September 24, Plaça de Sant Jaume is packed, not only to see the gegants dance, but also to greet the capgrossos that accompany them and form an essential part of La Mercè.
COMITIVA DE AUTORIDADES
It is pretty much inescapable duty to go and salute the patron saint at some time during the festivities, and to visit Her home, the Basilica of La Mercè, in the square of the same name. The city authorities gladly com- ply with this duty, taking Mass before returning to Plaça de Sant Jaume, accompanied by the festive beasts. On their arrival, the gegants and the Àliga perform their dances in what is amongst the most solemn moments during the festivity.