Many years have gone by since Barcelona City Council, in conjunction with the Cathedral of Barcelona, decided to revive one of the oldest and most sumptuous festivals celebrated down the ages in the city: Corpus. And they have done so focusing on two of its most popular and participative aspects, which are fruit of the collective heritage of the people of Barcelona: 'l'ou com balla' -the dancing egg- and the procession.
Corpus Christi has long been celebrated in Barcelona. The city is decked out to take part in a demonstration of this rich, popular tradition. This year, the celebration will be affected by the Covid-19 so all the activities would be available on the net.
'L'ou com balla' is one of Barcelona’s most unusual traditions and has marked the Corpus Christi celebrations since 1637. It is a custom that consists of making eggs dance on top of the spouts of water issuing from the fountains in the cloisters, patios and gardens, which are adorned for the occasion with floral arrangements and cherries.
The tradition, as unsophisticated as it is mysterious, arouses passions among scholars, who still argue about its origins and meaning. For some it is a metaphor of the cycle of life and a reference to time and unceasing movement. Others see in it a simple entertainment typical of the Middle Ages.
Regardless of the discussion about its origins, what is for sure is that the tradition has its roots in Catalonia, the only place in the whole world where eggs are made to dance. Thanks to its enormous popularity this celebration has found a place in the collective imagination of the people of Barcelona.
The springs and fountains of some cloisters and courtyards of the city show the game between water and an empty egg, enveloped by flowers. This year we will have two online representations of the dancing egg.
We have prepared a virtual route so you can enjoy the 'ou com balla' with images of past years.
We invite you to stroll through the city to discover them!
The highlight of the Corpus Christi festival in Barcelona is the festival procession, a secular parade with popular retinue figures such as the Giants of la Ciutat, Pi and Santa Maria del Mar, the Eagle, the Lion and the Ox. They will be joined by a variety of dancers, musicians and other popular culture characters, such as “trabucaires” with their blunderbusses, the Coronela militia, and the “falcons” (acrobatic human-tower makers) and “moixiganga” dancers.
The procession, which has been held in Barcelona since 1320, is part of the city’s intangible cultural heritage. For centuries this musical parade has been the city’s real annual festival. On the civil and communal side it has given rise to numerous dances and festival-imagery figures: the “gegants”, or giants, the “capgrossos”, or big heads, the “bestiari”, or beasts, plus dances and intermezzos created by the popular imagination on display in the showcase that the Corpus Christi procession has historically been.
The procession is held on the Sunday following the Corpus Christi festivities and this year's falls on June 14th. In this very special edition, the event will be held behind closed doors in the Cloister of the Cathedral, with a carpet of flowers included. In addition, the parade will be witnessed by the Eagle and the Giants of the City, municipalfestive symbols.
The presence of the Eagle and the Giants of the City in the Corpus Christi 2020 Procession will be broadcast live.
In this space you will find photographs and videos of the Barcelona Corpus of other years, thanks to various entities and institutions that have been uploading them to the networks. Enjoy them!
For Corpus, the hall, the stairs and the gothic gallery of the Town Council are filled with giants and beasts
The fountains of some cloisters and courtyards of the city show the game between water and an egg, wrapped in flowers
On the occasion of Corpus Christi, various equipments celebrate an open doors day. A unique opportunity to discover places that are usually closed to the public!