Corpus Christi, which this year falls on 19 June, is back. And one of the most unique celebrations you will find in Barcelona, the Dancing Egg, is once again taking a star role on that day throughout the city. This custom, which goes back to 1637, involves making an egg "dance" over jets of water from fountains in cloisters, courtyards and gardens, specially decked out for the occasion with floral patterns and cherries.
Several sites in the city will be opening to the public to show this centuries-old tradition. These include such iconic spaces as the Palau Centelles, the Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres, the headquarters of the Cathedral, the Ateneu Barcelonès, to name a few.
A tradition full of mystery
There are several enigmas regarding the origins to the tradition of the dancing egg. Many scholars are still debating these origins and their meaning. For some scholars, it is a metaphor for the life cycle and a reference to time and continuous movement. For others, it is seen as a simple game of fun, typical of the Middle Ages. Others even associate the egg with the body of Christ.
Leaving aside the debate over its origins, what is certain is that the tradition is firmly rooted in Catalonia, the only place in the world where eggs are currently made to "dance". This celebration is part of the collective imagination of Barcelona’s citizens, thanks to the large popular base it rest on. The City Council is also organising an open day to mark the occasion.
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