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Barcelona has long been known as a hedonist’s paradise but the refined neighbourhood of Gràcia can, to the casual observer, seem an unlikely place to find the city’s biggest annual street party. By day, when the area is full of locals going about their business in the little streets and alleys and the tree-lined squares so typical in this neighbourhood, even the lively strip of bars on Carrer Verdi (carrer=street in Catalan) gives little clue to the week-long revelry that attracts an estimated 1.5 million party-goers in August every year. Who happens to be in Barcelona in mid August , should not miss the “Festa Major de Gràcia” (Gracia Street Festival). But what exactly is a Festa Major?

La Festa Major de Gràcia is not Barcelona oldest festival, it has been documented since 1817 only, but by far the nicest one. Some of the streets from the area of Gràcia are decorated by their neighbours and each year one of them wins the competition: being named the most beautifully decorated street in Gràcia. There are more than 500 activities going on during the week long festivity, like open-air concerts, parades, exhibitions, workshops, dances, theater representations and fireworks. The lights turn on about 8.30 p.m. and that’s when the streets are best to be visited, although that’s also when they will be crowded…

WHEN?: mid August

More info: -in Catalan only -map of the streets participating in the festival

Video: © EPIPAL

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