Festa major de la Verneda i Sant Martí
Dates de celebració
First fortnight of November in the La Verneda and Sant Martí de Provençals neighbourhood, Sant Martí district
Feast Day: Sant Martí, 11th November
The La Verneda neighbourhood is located in the original nucleus of the ancient village of Sant Martí de Provençals, which dates from the 11th century. Following the Nova Planta decree, the Sant Martí church separated from Santa Maria del Mar and, when it became a parish, the area became a village in its own right. Up until the 1950s, it was a rural neighbourhood, with farm houses and arable fields. But from then on it began to transform as a result of various town planning initiatives.
The coordinator of Entitats Vern is responsible for organising the festival, which is celebrated in honour of Sant Martí. Over two weekends at the beginning of November, a whole host of sporting, cultural and recreational activities take place. Popular and traditional culture highlights include the cercavila gegantera, or the giants' procession, the human tower displays of the Castellers de Barcelona, the morning of the festa major, the main festival, and the final singing of Havaneres, the cantada d’havaneres.
Sant Martí is the patron saint of the La Verneda festivals because of the link with the parish church of Sant Martí de Provençals. The building dates from the 11th century, a time when it was very typical to consecrate churches to Sant Martí de Tours (Saint Martin of Tours), one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages in Europe.
Gathering of giants and the cercavila procession. The giants' group, La Colla Gegantera de la Verneda - Sant Martí, organises a meet on the Rambla de la Selva de Mar on the Saturday of the festa major. After the reading of the proclamation, a cercavila procession begins that parades through the neighbourhood streets headed by Martí and Dolça, the hosts.
Human tower displays. At the same time as the meeting of the giants on the Rambla de la Selva de Mar, there is a display of human towers by the Castellers de Barcelona, who have strong links to the district.
Morning of the festa major. The next Sunday, on the Rambla de Guipúscoa and that of La Selva de Mar, there is a series of popular culture events and activities of local associations. On the one hand is the show of the local organisations, and on the other is an exhibition of traditional dance.
Havaneres. The final event of the festa major is the cantada d’havaneres, the singing of Havaneres, in the "cage" in the Parc de Sant Martí, accompanied by rom cremat, flaming rum.