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beso amor barcelona

Hard to understand for those who have never experienced it, Saint George’s Day is a popular festive day when book and rose stalls, and, above all, floods of people, take over the streets of all Catalan towns and villages. The celebration could not be simpler: the ritual consists of going for a walk and buying a rose, a book or both to give to loved ones, family members and friends. Although it is not a public holiday, the day and the essential walk fill the streets and squares, making it a unique national festival celebrated on a working day.

The most popular legend in Catalonia about Sant Jordi tells that at Montblanc, in Conca de Barberà, there was a terrible dragon which viciously attacked men and beasts. To pacify it, lots were drawn and a person was chosen to be given as a sacrifice to the monster. One day, the misfortune fell on the king’s daughter, who would have died in the beast’s claws if it had not been for the arrival of a handsome knight who challenged the dragon and killed it. The tradition adds that from bloodshed was born a rose with red flowers…

amor fiesta barcelona

The origin of this unusual festival can be found in a mixture of traditions and customs from different periods. The fact that Saint George (Sant Jordi) is the patron saint of Catalonia (officially since 1456, although he was being venerated as early as the 8th century) coincides with another medieval custom of celebrating a Rose Fair or “Lovers’ Fair” at the Palau de la Generalitat.

The Dia del Llibre (the Book Day) is much more recent. According to some sources, it was first held on October 7th 1926. The original idea came from the Barcelona-based Valencian writer Vicent Clavel Andrés, who proposed it to the Cambra Oficial del Llibre de Barcelona. Shortly afterwards, in 1930, the date was changed to April 23rd, to commemorate the fact that the writers Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare both died on 23 April 1616, although according to different calendars.

The beauty, the love and the protest air which the Catalans live this emblematic day surprises very much the tourists. The balconies fill with Catalan flags and the streets of people (rose and book in hand) ready to go … If you want to go out to have dinner you must think that at night all the restaurants are full of lovers, so make a reservation!

AltiroBarcelona wishes you Happy Sant Jordi’s Day

libros sant jordi barcelona

 

LA CASTANYADA

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The Castanyada is a Catalan festival celebrated on November 1 All Saints Day, and as Halloween, comes from an ancient ritual funeral feast. The feast is a meal where you eat chestnuts, panellets, and sweet candied fruit.

During this period is usually found in the street stalls selling cooked chestnuts and sweet potatoes (in Las Ramblas or Urquinaona Pl you can find!). And in bakeries and pastry shops you can buy the typical sweets of this celebration: The Panellets, marzipan of different flavors, even that the most traditional one is the pine nuts.

The figure of a chestnut is the symbol of this tradition: an old woman, dressed in rags and a headscarf in front of a stove where she cook chestnuts

 

PANELLETS

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500 grs. almonds, 400 grs. sugar, 250 grs. cooked sweet potato, 200 grs. pine, 1 egg

Boil the whole sweet potato whit the skin until tender, hot, peel and put in a dish and crushed with a fork and add the sugar, mixed and added slowly ground almonds, finish to mix the dough with your hands so the almond is mix with the dough.

Pine nuts: Made balls with the dough, passed by beaten egg and then by the pine nuts (tighten well for sticking pine nuts), after paint the balls with egg yolks. Bake in a 250°C oven for 10 minutes.

 

HALLOWEEN

halloween barcelona, alojamiento barcelona apartamentos

Halloween comes to town on October 31st.
Halloween is the time to wear costumes with masks or be dressed as ghosts, zombies, witches and more. In Barcelona you can find different stores to rent or buy props. Although the modern Halloween is based on U.S. traditions. it is increasingly common to be held in a large number of bars and clubs of Barcelona.

To celebrate the event we propose the Music Hall Barcelona, ​​a concert hall located a few meters from Plaza Catalunya, on October 30st they celebrate Halloween with a special show: Evil Dead 2 and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”

What is the pass? The audience sings, dances, shouts, insults to the good, the bad applaud, throw rice at weddings, and get wet when it rains during the two hours of the show. The border between the screen and the theatre is blurry, you laugh at the blockbusters in 3D! Double session that will make you tremble with fear or laughter, and will depart costume competition with premiums.

 

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La Mercè (Festes de la Mercè 2014 From September 18th to 24th) is the festival of the city and a showcase of Catalan traditions, also a unique opportunity to see in action the best street performers and enjoy good free concerts.

Legend has it that the night of September 24, 1218, the Virgin appeared simultaneously to King James I, and San Pedro Nolasco Penyafort San Ramon. The three were asked that would create an order of monks dedicated to saving Christians imprisoned by the Saracens. Those were times of religious war. Centuries later in 1687, Barcelona suffered a plague of locusts, and placed itself in the hands of the Virgin of La Mercè. Once the plague had been overcome, the Council of the City named her patron saint of Barcelona.

The last blast of summer before the autumn starts, the streets are filled with music and joy for all. La Mercè is the festival of festivals, where, in just a few days there are hundreds of activities like these:

  • BAM(Barcelona Musical Action): to hear new sounds
  • Mercè Arts de Carrer (MAC): circus arts, dance and street arts.
  • Festival of tradition: human castles, bigheads, giants and all the festive beasts of the city.
  • The Fire Festival: all kinds of sparks from the musical fireworks to the Fire Run…

 

With a long etcetera of more than 500 activities to everyone’s taste.La Mercè is the festival of a thousand faces. Welcome to Barcelona, welcome to La Mercè!

Ladies and Gentlemen… Carnival is back, and at its most participatory!  The Arribo, the Saraus, the Passacaglias, the Taronjada, the Burial of the Sardine… Welcome to the kingdom of the Carnival King.

carnaval barcelona

 

The programme, of Barcelona Carnival (which is on from 12 to 18 February) starts on Fat Thursday, that same day will see the “Arribo” and Carnival Fireworks. This year’s new feature is the Ball del Rodolí, which takes place on Friday, 13 February. There will also be, what’s more, close to thirty neighbourhood processions distributed throughout the city, most of these held on Saturday, 14 February. Sunday 15 February marks the Taronjada (an orange confetti and balloon fight) with Carnival dancing at Plaça Comercial and a music procession featuring the Carnival King. Last but not least, Carnival will come to its official end on Wednesday 18 February, with the Burial of the Sardine ceremony held at Ciutadella Park.

Rua held that Saturday, for example in historic districts of Gràcia, Horta and Sants. The Rua are parades of floats and people who, carrying imaginable costumes, dance and play the rhythm of a joyful and contagious music. The tour starts around 17:00 pm and lasts about two hours. It is usually a family event enjoyed by children and adults.

Carnival in Barcelona is relatively quiet, even in bars and nightclubs as Nick Havanna or the Sala Bikini have parties to celebrate that last until late. For the more adventurous, there is the Carnival in Sitges where it is armed a very, very lively party.

There are few towns that can boast a world-famous carnival. In Sitges (28,000 inhabitants), 30km from Barcelona, is built on a great show which brings 300,000 people, full of color and sensuality that can compete with any other city. It is good to know that Sitges became a refuge from intolerance and censorship in the Franco era, and has remained a mecca for the gay community.

Carnaval_Sitges

Sitges Carnival is an amazing spectacle that lasts all week. The parades are a true display of aesthetic and artistic creativity. Wealth of costumes, makeup, feathers, sequins, bold fantasy models, improbable scenarios over mobile platforms theater. Dare to join!

Among the highlights include a Fireworks show (after the election of the king and queen of carnival), a Carnival for children and the Rua de l’Extermini (the parade of destruction), usually filled of DragQueens to the brink of madness. On Ash Wednesday, at one end a bit surreal, a huge statue of a sardine is buried on the beach. The whole event is also known for its security, which is important for lovers of pure fun and pride for the town of Sitges.

The best way to get to Sitges from Barcelona is by train from Passeig de Gracia or Sants Station. During these days there is a continuous special service (information on train schedules and rates of RENFE).

altiro rent appartament

In Barcelona there are several sites for renting and buying costumes. Please do not be shy, and we will love to see the pictures post on AltiroBarcelona Facebook and see who is the original!