La Casa dels Entremesos
Have you ever seen a museum of giants, beasts and bighead figures? These are the Cases de la Festa, or festival houses and in Barcelona we have twelve of them located all around the city.
For this year’s Santa Eulàlia Festival, don’t miss the Casa dels Entremesos, a building where festivities reign all year. There you’ll find many of the groups which play a central role in the city’s winter festival along with their figures, but bear in mind they’re not all there. You’ll find the children’s giants at the Pati Manning, the women giants at the Palau de la Virreina and the children’s beast figures at the City Hall.
Besides the permanent exhibition of festive imagery, the Casa dels Entremesos organises numerous activities throughout the year: talks, presentations, puppetry, workshops, play libraries and much more. Don't miss any of them!
The big moment is here. Plaça de Sant Jaume is packed with people waiting to hear the children of Barcelona. Today, the kids stand up and actively take part and have their say in the festival.
Over the last few months, the city's 3rd to 6th year primary school pupils have been working hard to reflect on their rights, the resources they have, the kind of city they would like to live in and their commitment to making it a reality. In reality, the Children’s Speech is an activity that aims to promote and disseminate the rights of children, introduce them to citizen participation and teach them to be co-responsible.
The proclamation will be attended by the Mayor of Barcelona and members of the City Council. Subsequently, at around 10:15 am, there will be a performance by the group Ambauka.
The following schools took part in this edition:
Escola Mediterrània, Mare del Diví Pastor, Escola Sagrat Cor Esclaves, Institut Escola Sicília, Escola Pau Vila, Escola Solc, Escola Tres Fonts de les Corts, Escola Nausica, Escola Projecte, Escola Costa i Llobera, Escola Nou Patufet, Escola Josep Maria de Sagarra, EE Mare de Déu de Montserrat, Escola Els Pins, Institut Escola El Molí, Escola Marta Mata, Escola Mercè Rodoreda, Escola Turó Blau, Escola Doctor Ferran i Clua, Escola Concepció Arenal i Escola Dovella.
Bell-ringing along the Gòtic neighbourhood’s streets
As is customary, the Palau de la Generalitat's bell-ringing is taking part in the Santa Eulàlia Festivities, with a festive performance that can be heard in various streets in the Gòtic neighbourhood.
The melodies will have a festive air and will be performed by Anna Maria Reverté. First, we will hear the Merriment of Santa Eulàlia, by Joan Salvat. After that, the Dance of Santa Eulàlia, a traditional melody. And then, to round it all off, three festive sardanas: Llevantina, by Vicenç Bou; Els meus de Barcelona, by Vicenç Bou; and A la plaça, by Enric Morera.
The programme may be amended for reasons of force majeure.
The Eagle’s Protocols
Route: Plaça de Sant Jaume, Carrer de Jaume I, Plaça de l’Àngel, Carrer de l’Argenteria, Carrer dels Sombrerers, Placeta de Montcada, Passeig del Born, Carrer de Santa Maria, Fossar de les Moreres and Plaça de Santa Maria.
8.40 pm: Coronela Honours and Trabucaires at the Fossar de les Moreres.
8.50 pm: Barcelona Lion’s Dance and Santa Maria del Mar Giants in Plaça de Santa Maria.
9 pm: City Eagle Protocols: Entering the Santa Maria del Mar Basilica with the City Eagle March.
The Eagle’s Dance inside the Basilica. Leading a solemn procession starting from Plaça de Sant Jaume will be the City Eagle [Àliga], accompanied by the Barcelona militia [Coronela], the Barcelona Lion, the Santa Maria del Mar Giants and the Perot Rocaguinarda Trabucaires with their blunderbusses, who together form the entourage for the Eagle’s Protocols [seguici dels Protocols de l’Àliga]. The procession will culminate in one of the most emotive and solemn events of the festivities: the traditional Ball de l’Àliga, or Eagle’s Dance, which will be performed at the presbytery and in front of the altar at the Santa Maria del Mar Basilica.
Clavé Choirs concert: Clavé, music in love
The Federation of Clavé Choirs returns to the Santa Eulàlia Festivities with a concert focusing on music from film soundtracks throughout history. We will be able to hear tunes from The Chorus, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Indiana Jones.
There will also be a series of love songs that we can all sing along to: Boig per tu, Camins, Can’t help falling in love and Unchained Melody, among others.
A concert that is really worth seeing live!
18th St Eulalia Children's Sardana Gathering
New generations of sardana dancers will be meeting up again at this big annual gathering to dance to the ever fresh and innovative rhythms of the Cobla Contemporània, a modern sardana orchestra founded in 1995.
Gathering of stick-dancing groups
Are you familiar with stick dancing? It is one of the most traditional dances in Catalonia, and certainly the most widespread geographically. You can find it all over the world in one form or another.
In this case, the Santa Eulàlia Festivities are bringing together all the Barcelona groups, from various neighbourhoods and districts. There will also be a group from outside Catalonia and the Estelladors de Prats de Lluçanès, the group that is organising the National Stick Dancing Meeting this year. Furthermore, you can also enjoy a singular performance: the sword dance, which has a lot in common with stick dancing.
The event will begin with a dance on Avinguda de la Catedral, then continue with a procession (11 am) along Avinguda de la Catedral, Plaça Nova, Carrer de la Palla, Carrer dels Banys Nous, Carrer de Ferran and Plaça de Sant Jaume. Once there, at around 12 noon, the last dances will begin, group by group.
Street parade of Small Giants and School Giants
Street parade: 11.30 am.
Route: Plaça dels Àngels, Elisabets, Bonsuccés, la Rambla, Ferran and Plaça de Sant Jaume.
The children’s figures from the giant-carrier groups created over the years to encourage children’s participation in the world of giant carriers, will be meeting up to parade along the city's streets.
18th Exhibition of Children’s and Young People’s Traditional and Folk Dance Groups
Barcelona has some twenty traditional dance groups, located in various districts and neighbourhoods. Some regularly perform traditional dances at our local festivals, while others experiment and create new dances with folk roots. Yet nearly all of them have a children’s section which acts as a school and a means of ensuring the future of this tradition.
For Santa Eulàlia, children take on a more central role and this is why the children's sections of these groups have their own dance. The event is on Saturday and Sunday, at 12 noon, offering a chance to see seven Barcelona dance groups and one from Andorra. Saturday brings performances from the traditional dance groups of Català de Dansaires, Ciutat Comtal, Maragall and Sant Martí, while on Sunday we can enjoy the groups of Sant Jordi, Joventut Nostra, Rubí and Colla Dansaire Picacrestes del Prat.
A unique chance to see the youngsters dance!
The St Eulalia Dance
Esbart Santa Eulàlia, with the Cobla Maricel, offers a modern take on the St Eulalia Dance on Avinguda de la Catedral.
Lali Jove 2023
Lali Jove is back: the Santa Eulàlia Festivities programme created for and by young Barcelona residents. The event starts at 5 pm, with various simultaneous activities and workshops organised by the city's youth associations. There will be a quiz on the situation of disabled women and their rights (women, rights and disability); an activity to raise awareness about the Western Sahara; a skateboard and urban culture workshop; a stall providing information about leisure activities; an activity about the Erasmus programme, and more.
At 7 pm, there's musical bingo and the #BarnaJove 2022 prizes will be awarded. In the evening there are concerts by Queency (9 pm), FigaFlawas (9:50 pm), Julieta (11:10 pm) and Les que faltaband (1 am).
Els batecs de la Laia / Laia’s heartbeats. 8th Drummers’ Gathering
Street parade: In Plaça Reial (start)
Route: Plaça Reial, Passatge de Colom, La Rambla, Carrer de Ferran, Plaça de Sant Jaume (arriving at 6.15 pm)
The drummers from Barcelona’s devil and fire-beast festival groups will assemble in Plaça Reial for the 8th Drummers Gathering where they will evoke St Eulalia’s heartbeats [batecs] with their thundering drum strokes. It will be a big drum session to spread the festival sounds and rhythms round the Barri Gòtic streets.
The Joan Amades Cultural Association will show you all the nooks and crannies of Barcelona associated with St Eulalia, on a guided tour which will even have musical accompaniment.
All groups are complete.
Group 1, setting off on 11 February, at 5.30 pm
Group 2, setting off on 11 February, at 6 pm
Group 3, setting off on 12 February, at 10.30 am
Group 4, setting off on 12 February, at 11 am
Performance by the Esbart Català de Dansaires
Do you like traditional dances? Come along and enjoy the Esbart Català de Dansaires, the oldest active dance group in the city and in Catalonia, originally formed in 1908.
The group has a repertoire of dozens of traditional dances which become a journey around the country, based on the dances typical of each place. The group also conserves the traditional Catalan dance archive, holding information on hundreds of dances and compiled down through the years.
The dance group was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi by the Government of Catalonia in 2010, along with the City of Barcelona award in the sphere of popular culture in 2012.
The music for the dancing at the Santa Eulàlia Festival 2023 will be courtesy of the cobla formation Ciutat de Granollers.
Little devils and little beasts’ fire run
Santa Eulàlia is the city's youngest festival, something which is clear to the children and young people's devil and beast groups. When it gets dark, they will leave City Hall and fill the following streets with fire: Plaça de Sant Jaume, Carrer de Ferran, La Rambla, Passatge de Colom and Plaça Reial, where they will finish at 7 pm.
The fire festival stimulates all your senses, with drum percussion, the smell of gunpowder and the light of the fireworks. The kids perform a made-to-measure festival, and although it is especially designed for children, it is not entirely risk free.
So remember!You should wear long-sleeved cotton clothes that cover your entire body. It is also important to wear appropriate footwear, so you can run when you need to.
Take care of children and ensure they are a safe distance from the fire.
If the fire run goes past your home or shop, roll back the awnings, cover your windows and close your shutters.
And remember, follow the instructions given by security personnel, so you can enjoy a safer festival!
Coro Kudyapi is a Filipino choir made up of children from the Raval neighbourhood. The group was created in 2004 to bring children of Philippine origin born in Barcelona closer to Philippine culture and music. The choir plays an active part in the traditions and festivals of the Philippine community, as well as in numerous initiatives and festivities in the neighbourhood.
Actea Cor Femení is a choral group made up of sixteen singers. Since is was first presented in 1992, they have performed at various festivals around Europe. The singers resumed their activity in 2009 and since then have had praise heaped on them for their mature style, technical quality and great communication capacity.
Organised by the Barcelona branch of the Catalan Federation of Choral Groups (FCEC), the concert boasts a range of contemporary songs, plenty of joy and a fabulous vocal show. Created in Manresa in 1982, the Catalan Federation of Choral Groups (FCEC) includes around 520 federated choirs from the Catalan-speaking lands and elsewhere.
Tradicionàrius and Santa Eulàlia
This year, the winter annual festival is full of live music.On Saturday evening, after the fire run, the 36th Tradicionàrius International Folk Festival will begin in Plaça de Sant Jaume, where you can enjoy two folk music concerts.
The first concert is Riu X, a production from the group Riu. The group gives an energetic, sensitive and powerful live performance of their repertoire, with numbers that include the Patum Eagle Dance, the Arboç Stick Dance and Lo Tio Pep, without forgetting some other familiar tunes that will never disappoint you.
Then comes the Catalan rumba of Todos los Gatos son Pardos (11 pm), a tribute to Gato Pérez. The group will be accompanied by various musicians, and together they will perform the most emblematic songs of the musician who revitalised Catalan rumba and left a legacy full of respect, flavour and humour.
30th St Eulalia Fire Run
Route: Plaça Reial, Passatge de Colom, La Rambla, Carrer de Ferran, Plaça de Sant Jaume (arriving around 8.45 pm).
When it gets dark, the fire beasts and devils will come out onto the streets, spurred on by the deafening beat of the drums, and they will come together to start an unrestrained, pyrotechnic street parade. The children will lead the fire events, with the child-size fire run of small devils and beasts on Saturday evening. Later, the Correfoc de Santa Eulàlia will begin: the Dragon, She-dragon, Serene Dragon, Mule, Bull, Marsh Harrier and the Dolphin dance between the flames and sparks with the devils of Kinta Forka, the Barri Gòtic and Tarascaires, until they reach Plaça de Sant Jaume and the end of the fire run, where the participating festival groups will put on a show of drums and flames.
The fire festival is one of the most entertaining events of the St Eulàlia celebrations but it is important to take great care. If you wish to participate, don’t forget that: You will need cover your head, wear a neckerchief and long sleeves and trousers. Always wear clothes made from cotton and not from synthetic materials. You should wear comfortable footwear so that you can run when necessary.
- Be particularly careful if you are with small children and keep a safe distance from the fire. Don’t let go of your children’s hand and remember they have their own children’s fire run with less intense fire .
- If the fire run goes past your home or shop, fold up the canopies, cover your windows and close your shutters.
- No alcohol or glass: while the fire run is taking place, avoid alcohol. If you are carrying a drink, do not use a glass or glass bottles. Broken glass is dangerous.
- Do not forget that the fire run is a lot of fun, but if you do not follow the basic safety rules, it can also be dangerous. Join in the festival but enjoy it sensibly!
- Remember to always follow the instructions of the stewards, who will be well identified.
“Eulàlia”, a dance show at the Cathedral
Esbart Ciutat Comtal will be staging the ninth edition of ‘Eulalia’ (City of Barcelona Award 2013), a music and dance show performed inside Barcelona Cathedral on top of the crypt where the body of St Eulalia lies, in homage to the patron saint and in celebration of the values of freedom, equality and justice.
Organised by choreographer Lluís Calduch and with music by Francesc Cassú, ‘Eulalia’ recreates the life of the saint from her profession through to her crucifixion, including the different forms of torture she suffered, through dance numbers, non-verbal performance and compositions with choreographed movements based on various folk and religious sources from Catalan popular culture.
Grallers [chanter players] morning call
Early in the morning, a group of chanter players [grallers] parading through the Barri Gòtic streets will remind you that the city is celebrating its annual winter festival. Answer the call! Come out and enjoy the St Eulalia festivities.
Street parade [cercavila] led by the little giantess Laia
Route: Palau de la Virreina, La Rambla, Boqueria, Call and Plaça Sant Jaume
On the patron saint’s day, Giantess Laia leaves her exhibition companions at the Palau de la Virreina for a while to go to Plaça de Sant Jaume at the head of a music parade. There she will greet the Mayor of Barcelona and pay tribute to the St Eulalia banner.
Hanging the St Eulalia banner
Sunday, 12 February kicks of with the traditional hanging of the St Eulalia banner on the City Hall’s main balcony by the mayor and city councillors. The little giantess Laia will do her traditional little dance or balladeta to the sound of the national anthem, Els Segadors, and everybody will salute the St Eulalia banner, which will preside over the day's events.
12th Lacemaker’s Gathering
Five hundred lacemakers from all over Catalonia set out their cushions, threads, bobbins, patterns and needles all along Carrer dels Arcs and Portal de l’Àngel to demonstrate the art of making bobbin lace, a hugely important activity in the Catalan textile industry between the 18th and the mid-20th century. Don’t miss the unmistakeable sound of the thousands of wooden bobbins under the deft movements of the fingers of the craftswomen that keep this tradition alive.
Els Falcons de Barcelona
Street parade: 10 am.
Route: Plaça Nova, Carrer del Bisbe, Plaça de Sant Jaume.
The Falcons of Barcelona will parade from Plaça Nova along Carrer del Bisbe where they will garland a figure in honour of the patron saint in front of the St Eulalia door, which leads into the Cathedral cloister. In Plaça de Sant Jaume, the Falcons will construct their spectacular human figures, defying gravity with their impressive balancing ability. Apart from their classic constructions, such as the stairs and the pyre, the Falcons always like to innovate and take risks to bring us new figures.
The Falcons of Barcelona were introduced to the St Eulalia festivities in 2003 and their origin lies in the Sokol [‘falcon’ in Czech], a gymnastics association created in Prague in 1862 which extended its model to several European countries, including Catalonia, where it was launched around 1928.
40th Gathering of the Ciutat Vella Giants and the St Eulalia Entourage
11.30 am, start of the entourage procession Sunday
12.00 noon, Baixada de Santa Eulàlia: St Eulalia’s Dance performed by the New Giants of Plaça Nova and wreath-laying ceremony.
1.15 pm, Plaça de Sant Jaume: Laia, City Eagle and City Giants dances, and St Eulalia's Dance, by the New Giants of Plaça Nova. Route: Plaça Reial, Passatge de Colom, La Rambla, Carrer de la Portaferrissa, 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 (arriving about 12.45 pm)
The giants of all Barcelona’s festival giant groups, and one or more from outside the city will come together in this large gathering in Plaça Reial before joining the St Eulalia entourage. This is one of the oldest and most ceremonious events of the annual winter festival. The first gathering, held in 1983, with only two festival groups, was the beginning of the contemporary St Eulalia celebrations.
The small giantess Laia and the St Eulalia banner lead the street parade [cercavila], followed by the Eagle, the Lion and the other members of the historical and festive beasts. Then, led by the City Giants, the rest of the giants, dwarfs and small giants gathered on the square join the entourage, which will take them to Plaça de Sant Jaume. At 1.15 pm, Laia, the Eagle and the City Giants will perform their dances, followed by the New Giants of Plaça Nova performing St Eulalia’s dance.
Diada Castellera de Santa Eulàlia
The Barcelona, Sants, Vila de Gràcia, El Poble-sec, Sagrada Família, Barcelona Youth and Sarrià human-tower groups [colles castelleres], along with Els Esquerdats.
They will start building human towers at 11.00 am in Plaça de Sant Jaume, opposite the City Hall’s balcony. This marks the beginning of the festival season with the first human tower event of the year. The groups have a time limit of 60 minutes to build all their structures.
Double session of sardanas
The St Eulalia festivities mark the start of the sardana season, a ring dance that is a must at the annual festival. Find a ring, join in and enjoy the dance. Organised by Agrupació Cultural Folklòrica Barcelona.
The Laies Walk and St Eulalia Dance
Route: La Rambla, Carrer del Cardenal Casañas, Plaça del Pi and gathering of giants at Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, at 7 pm.
7.30 pm: Laias Walk [Passejada]. Route: Carrer del Pi, Plaça de la Cucurulla, Carrer dels Boters, Plaça Nova, Carrer del Bisbe, Carrer de Sant Sever, Baixada de Santa Eulàlia (Wreath-laying and St Eulalia Dance at around 7.50 pm), Carrer dels Banys Nous, Carrer de Ferran, Plaça de Sant Jaume (St Eulalia Dance, at 8.25 pm).
For St Eulalia 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 together in Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, they will start a procession led by the Laias from Plaça Nova and by a smaller Laia taking them to Plaça de Sant Jaume.
Beforehand, however, at around 8 pm when they go down Baixada de Santa Eulàlia, the entourage stops in front of the patron saint’s image to perform a wreath-laying ceremony and to dance, to the sound of grallas, the St Eulalia Dance, led by Laia and Laieta, the new and old female giants from Plaça Nova. On Plaça de Sant Jaume, once the entire parade has passed below the St Eulalia banner on the City 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 orchestra.
The festival wouldn't be a local festival without the sardanes!During the festivities for Santa Eulàlia it is traditional to hold a dance on the evening of 12 February, the Day of Santa Eulàlia.The music is always provided by the Cobla Sant Jordi - Ciutat de Barcelona, which performs the melodies that dozens of people from Barcelona dance to in circles.
The dancing concludes around 8.25 pm with the arrival of the giants which will be taking part in the ‘Passejada de les Laies’, when all the figures adopt the name of Laia and dance along to the sound of the cobla performing the Dance of Santa Eulàlia.
Don’t miss it!
At the end of the festival, the square will thunder with a great display of fireworks that will illuminate the sky of Barcelona to say goodbye, until next year, to Santa Eulàlia and the main winter festival.