Festes del Raval
Dates de celebració
The weekend prior to the Feast of the Mare de Déu del Carme
Feast Day: 16 July
El Raval is a neighbourhood in the Ciutat Vella district and it sprang up after the expansion of the medieval walls. Today it is inhabited by people who were born here and people who have come from lots of different countries and cultures. Consequently you can find shops and restaurants of very different nationalities. This intercultural mix has characterised the neighbourhood for decades and is clearly reflected in the festa major, in mid-July.
The Raval festival is organised by the residents' association, the Associació de Veïns del Carme, with a lot of activities that are designed to appeal to all ages and tastes: music and dance, havaneres, gegants, diables, castellers, theatre, communal meals, activities for kids and sports competitions. There is even a skating race that has caught on in recent years. Since 1983 local traders have also promoted an exhibition of artisans and shopkeepers.
The festival is in honour of the Mare de Déu del Carme, the patron saint of the neighbourhood's main parish.
Ball i cercavila de gegants. Popular festival figures are an important part of the festival, which includes a giant cercavila led by the gegants Ramon and Lola, the smaller gegantona Quimeta Àngels and the nan , or dwarf, Manolito. This musical procession is followed by a dance of all these figures which brings the event to a close.
Diada bastonera. Colles bastoneres, groups of stick dancers from Barcelona and all round the country have their moment of glory during the Raval festival. For some years now they have organised a big day of stick dancing, with a group parade round the neighbourhood streets that ends in Plaça de Vázquez Montalbán, where each group offers a demonstration of their most typical dances.
Diada castellera. Festival Sunday is casteller day. Casteller groups from the city and surrounding areas meet on the Rambla del Raval and offer an exhibition of human tower-building.
Espectacle pirotècnic i tabalada. On the last night of the celebrations there is a big drum tabalada, with a firework display, organised by Ciutat Vella's colles de diables with guest devil groups also taking a part. When that finishes a big traca (string) of exploding firecrackers announces the end of the festival and bids farewell to the neighbourhood residents until the following year.
Associació de Veïns del carrer del Carme.