Two of the most notable events of the big annual festival are being held on Santa Eulàlia / St Eulalia’s Day. The first is the ceremonial hanging of the banner, the festivities’ oldest event. And the second is the Les Laies street parade, a unique music procession taken part in by the Gegants de Ciutat Vella, giant female figures.
Exhibition entitled ‘Laies, les gegantes’. Palau de la Virreina, 10 and 11 February, 10 am-8 pm / 12 February, 10 am-6 pm
The little giant Laia, La Laia and La Laieta de la Plaça Nova, Laia dels Gegants de Pi, Lola del Raval and Maria la Neta of Barceloneta, will among the city’s other female giants, and only female giants, meeting at Palau de la Virreina to proclaim Santa Eulàlia as Barcelona’s patron saint and pay homage to all Barcelona’s women citizens. They will be parading together in the Les Laies procession and dance on Thursday 12, Santa Eulàlia / St Eulalia’s Day.
Ceremonial hanging of the Santa Eulàlia Banner. Plaça de Sant Jaume, at 9.45 am.
Thursday, 12 February will kick off with the traditional ceremonial hanging of the Santa Eulàlia banner from the main balcony of the Town Hall, led by the Mayor of Barcelona, accompanied by the councillors. As “Els segadors”, the Catalan national anthem. is played, the little giant Laia will be doing her traditional little dance and greeting the Santa Eulàlia banner, which will be dominating the entire day’s events.
Sardana dancing accompanied by music from the Cobla Sant Jordi – Ciutat de Barcelona music ensemble. Plaça de Sant Jaume, at 6.30 pm
A large sardana-dance gathering for celebrating Santa Eulàlia / St Eulalia’s Day
The Les Laies procession and dance. Palau de la Virreina, at 6.30 pm
For St Eulàlia Day, all Barcelona’s female giants change their name to the shorter form of Eulalia, ‘Laia’, to celebrate one of the oldest and most important events of the annual winter festival. After gathering in Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, they start a procession led by the Plaça Nova and Pi Laias and a smaller Laia that takes them to Plaça de Sant Jaume.
Beforehand, however, at around 7.45 pm and when it goes down baixada de Santa Eulàlia, the parade will stop in front of the patron’s image to perform a wreath-laying ceremony and to dance, accompanied by the graller’s music, the Dance of St Eulàlia, led by Laia and Laieta, the small giants from Plaça Nova. On Plaça de Sant Jaume, once the entire parade has passed below the St Eulàlia banner on the Town Hall balcony, the same giants will repeat the dance – in a long version for a cobla – in the middle of the square, accompanied by the Cobla Ciutat de Barcelona sardana orchestra.
Music procession starts at: 19.30. Route: Carrer del Pi, Plaça de la Cucurulla, Carrer dels Boters, Plaça Nova, Carrer del Bisbe, Carrer de Sant Sever, Baixada de Santa Eulàlia, Carrer dels Banys Nous, Carrer de Ferran, Plaça de Sant Jaume (Santa Eulàlia Dance, arriving at around 8.25 pm)