This year, Barcelona commemorates the centenary of the birth of Maria Aurèlia Capmany (1918-1991), a writer, pedagogue and politician who served as Councillor for Culture on Barcelona City Council from 1983 to 1991. Capmany played a key role in the process of reviving the modern Feast of Saint Eulàlia, which took place for the first time in 1983, thirty-five years ago, in an initiative led by the giants group of El Pi and Plaça Nova. Until then, the Feast of Saint Eulàlia had not been celebrated since the eighteenth century, and in a more religious than popular key.
In 2019 the city’s winter feast, the Feast of Santa Eulàlia, takes place from
February 8th to 12th 2019
1568-2018: 450 years of the Mulassa of Barcelona
February 3-11, from 10 am to 8 pm
The Mulassa of Barcelona turns 450 and, to celebrate this anniversary, the Palau de la Virreina presents an exhibition of these mules from all over Catalonia. The Mulassa of Barcelona, which took part in such great occasions as the canonisation of Saint Raymond of Penyafort in 1601, forms part of the city’s Historic Bestiary and is a participant in Barcelona’s Seguici Popular or Popular Procession.
This exhibition focuses on the status of these mules as among the oldest members of the festive bestiary and possibly the most numerous after the dragons. In the exhibition, the Mulassa of Barcelona will be accompanied by Mula Baba from Girona and the mulasses from Falset, Montblanc, Reus, Tarragona, Vic and Sant Feliu de Pallerols, as well as Haca Traca Almalafa from Castellón, Mulasseta from Montblanc and Somera from Falset.
Del 4 al 9 de febrer, de 10 a 20 h
Inauguració, dissabte 3 de febrer, 17 h
Del 4 al 9 de febrer, de 10 a 20 h
El Pati Manning acull les originals figures que els alumnes de les escoles de Barcelona i els membres més joves de les colles geganteres han construït per a aquestes festes. En podrem veure els resultats en aquesta mostra, que reflecteix la particular visió de la imatgeria festiva que tenen els nens i nenes de la ciutat. El dissabte 10 de febrer, a les 11.30 hores, els petits artistes acompanyaran les seves creacions en una desfilada pels carrers de la ciutat.
Plaça de les Beates, 2. Times: Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 1 pm and from 4 to 7 pm; Sunday and Monday, closed.
Perquè avui és Santa Llúcia… pels volts de la Plaça Nova [Because Today is Saint Lucy’s Day… Around Plaça Nova]
Until February 18
Sunday, February 4, 11.30 am and 12.30 pm
El restaurant d’en Cu-cut [Cu-cut’s Restaurant]
By the Sebastià Vergés puppet company
Saturday, February 10, at 11.30 am
The children’s opening speech for the Feast of Saint Eulàlia is an educational activity aimed at pupils in the third, fourth and fifth year of primary school. Its aim is to enable children to learn about political institutions and bodies promoting civic participation in Barcelona, and to encourage them to begin to take part in participatory processes based on the values of shared responsibility and active citizenship. This year, the speech will be given before the mayor and council of the City of Barcelona in Plaça de Sant Jaume.
After meeting our representatives at the children’s opening speech, the young people continue to have fun thanks to Xiula, a musical entertainment company, with a show featuring original songs and exciting numbers rich in critical spirit.
February 9-12, from 10 am to 9 pm, Avinguda de la Catedral
At Saint Eulàlia, craftspeople making wood, pottery and metal, as well as food and drink, set up their stalls on Avinguda de la Catedral to display and sell their hand-made goods.
Festive programme to launch the celebrations
Times may be subject to changes due to force majeure
Organised by: Government of Catalonia
Catalan baroque dance and celebration
Xuriach, a company devoted to historic music and dance, perform dances popular in Catalonia in the 17th century, accompanied by music from their latest recording, Sonau, musichs, sonau…! The show is a presentation of their revival of Música de Corda de la Ciutat (Chord Music of the City), an institutional ensemble from those days as they accompany the Dance of the Eagle.
Starting in Plaça de Sant Jaume
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. Arriving at the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar at around 8.50 pm.
9 pm, Dance of the Eagle, Santa Maria del Mar
Àliga, the Eagle of the City, accompanied by the Coronela de Barcelona militia, the Ministrers Espremulls musicians, the Lion of Barcelona, the Giants of Santa Maria del Mar and the Trabucaires d’en Perot Rocaguinarda musketeers are the so-called Protocols of the Eagle. They lead a procession that starts in Plaça de Sant Jaume and ends with one of the most solemn and emotive moments in the celebrations: the traditional Dance of the Eagle (Ball de l’Àliga) in the chancel and before the high altar in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.
Àliga, the Eagle of Barcelona, documented since the fourteenth century, enjoyed the privilege of dancing in churches, and its dance was considered the greatest honour that could be bestowed on illustrious visitors. The Decree of Nueva Planta and the prohibitions of 1771 reduced its symbolic status to the point where it finally disappeared. In 1989, however, the Eagle of Barcelona was revived as part of the Project for the Recuperation of the Festive Imagery of Barcelona Vella.
15th Santa Eulàlia Children’s Sardana Meeting
With Cobla Contemporània
Parade: 11.30 am.
Route: Carrer dels Àngels, Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, La Rambla (descending side), Carrer de Ferran, Plaça de Sant Jaume (arriving at around 12 noon).
Children are the stars at the Feast of Saint Eulàlia, and young people from folklore groups and schools in Barcelona build smaller-scale versions of giants and other figures. A way to discover popular culture through a unique view of festive imagery that culminates in this parade through the city’s streets and squares.
The mulassa from Girona is really special: her huge belly also doubles as a tiny theatre where puppet shows regularly take place.
Traditional folk dance is kept alive and passed on to new generations of dancers that form part of the many children's and young people’s dance companies in our country. At Saint Eulàlia, they all meet in Avinguda de la Catedral so that we can enjoy their performances and share their passion for dance.
Music by Cobla Ciutat de Terrassa, conducted by Jordi Núñez. The following dance companies will be performing:
Saturday, February 10: Esbart Català de Dansaires, Esbart Joventut Nostra, Esbart Maragall, Esbart Sant Martí and Esbart Brugués
Sunday, February 11: Esbart Gaudí, Esbart Sant Jordi, Esbart Ciutat Comtal, Esbart Manresà and Esbart Dansaire de Granollers
Parade: Plaça Reial, Passatge de Colom, La Rambla, Carrer de Ferran, Plaça de Sant Jaume (arriving at around 6 pm)
The drummers of the devil and fire bestiary groups of Barcelona meet in Plaça Reial to celebrate the 7th Meeting of Drummers and reproduce, with their deafening rhythms, the beating of Saint Eulàlia’s heart. A great festival of percussion to spread festive rhythm and sounds around the streets of the Gothic Quarter.
In Avinguda de la Catedral, Esbart Santa Eulàlia perform a modern representation of the Dance of Saint Eulàlia.
With musical accompaniment by Cobla Ciutat de Terrassa
Aureli Capmany i els dansaires de l'Esbart Català de Dansaires, 1910
Font: Esbart Català de Dansaires. Arxiu Fotogràfic. Barcelona
This year, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Aureli Capmany (Barcelona 1868-1954), a writer and champion of Catalan culture, one of the founders of the Orfeó Català choir in 1891 and a leading member and director of the Esbart Català de Dansaires dance group, founded in 1909. He dedicated his life to the study, revival and promotion of Catalan popular culture, and was the father of the writer Maria Aurèlia Capmany, who became Councillor for Culture on Barcelona City Council. We also celebrate the centenary of Maria Aurèlia Capmany’s birth this year.
Fire-run of the Little Devils
Saturday 10, at 6.15 pm, Plaça de Sant Jaume
Route: Plaça de Sant Jaume, Carrer de Ferran, La Rambla (ascending side), Passatge de Colom and Plaça Reial (ending at around 8 pm)
Fire-run of Saint Eulàlia
Saturday, February 10, 8.15 pm, Plaça Nova
Route: Plaça Nova, Carrer del Bisbe and Plaça de Sant Jaume (ending at around 9 pm)
When night falls, the fire beasts come out into the street, attracted by the deafening sound of drums beating, and gather together to start a parade of frenzy and fireworks. The programme of fire-based activities begins on Saturday evening with an event designed especially for children, the Fire-run of the Little Devils. Later, the Fire-run of Saint Eulàlia begins: Drac, Víbria, Tarasca, Mulassa, Arpella and Dofí dance among flames and sparks with the devils of the Kinta Forka, Barri Gòtic and Tarascaires groups. At the end of the fire-run, in Plaça de Sant Jaume, the various participating groups will perform a great show with thunderous noise and fire.
CAUTION: The Festival of Fire is one of the most exciting events on the Santa Eulàlia festival programme, but it is important to take great care while enjoying the event. If you want to take part, remember that:
• You must wear a hat, a scarf, and long-sleeved clothes and long trousers. Your clothes should be made of cotton, not synthetic materials. And wear comfortable footwear so that you can run when necessary.
• Do not throw water during the fire-run: wet firework powder is unpredictable.
• Be particularly careful if you are with children, and keep them at a safe distance from the fire. Hold young children by the hand at all times and remember that there is also a fire-run especially for young people at which the flames are not so intense.
• If the fire-run route goes past your house or shop, close awnings, cover windows and lower the blinds.
• Remember, the fire-run is great fun, but it can be dangerous if you do not follow basic safety rules. Join the party, but enjoy yourself sensibly!
• Remember that you must always obey instructions given to you by stewards, who will be clearly identified.
For the sixth consecutive year, Esbart Ciutat Comtal presents Eulàlia (winner of the 2013 City of Barcelona Prize), a music and dance show that is performed inside Barcelona Cathedral, before the crypt that houses the tomb containing the relics of Saint Eulàlia, to pay tribute to the city’s patron saint and exalt the values of freedom, equality and justice.
Directed by the choreographer Lluís Calduch and with music by the composer Francesc Cassú, Eulàlia recreates the life of the saint from her profession of faith to her crucifixion, including the martyrdoms she suffered, all through dance sequences, gesture and compositions featuring choreographic movements that are influenced by different folklore and religious manifestations in Catalan popular culture.
Activity free of charge. Advance registration required here
The Joan Amades Cultural Association will lead you to discover nooks and crannies in Barcelona that are linked to the legend of Saint Eulàlia on an evening guided tour with musical accompaniment. More information:
Early in the morning, groups playing their music on the graller parade around the streets of the Gothic Quarter to remind us all that the city is celebrating its winter festivities. Hear the call and go down into the street to enjoy the Feast of Saint Eulàlia.
Parade: 9 am.
Route: Plaça Nova, Carrer del Bisbe, Plaça de Sant Jaume.
La Moixiganga de Barcelona, first presented at the 2014 Winter Festival, continues its revival of an ancient tradition that had been lost in Barcelona. The Moixiganga, a forerunner of castells, is an ensemble of popular dance, figures and human towers that represent scenes or mysteries from the Passion of Christ. La Moixiganga de Barcelona, originally from the Clot neighbourhood of the city, is accompanied by original music by Jordi Fàbregas.
Parade: 10 am.
Route: Plaça Nova, Carrer del Bisbe, Plaça de Sant Jaume.
What more thrilling sight than the spectacular human figures that Els Falcons de Barcelona build, defying the rules of balance and the laws gravity? Besides the group’s classical constructions, such as those known as the escala and the pira, this local ensemble loves to innovate and take risks in order to create new figures. Els Falcons de Barcelona were first presented at the Feast of Saint Eulàlia in 2003. The group’s name has its origins in the Sokol (Czech for “falcon”), a gymnastic association established in Prague in 1862, a model that was adopted in several European countries, including Catalonia, where it became popular in around 1928.
Commemoration for the centenary of the birth of Maria Aurèlia Capmany
Sunday, February 11, 10.30 am, meeting in Plaça Reial; 11.30 am, parade, Dance of Saint
Eulàlia and floral offering, 12 noon, Baixada de Santa Eulàlia
Dances of Laia, the Eagle and the Giants of the City, and Dance of Saint Eulàlia, 1.15 pm, Plaça de Sant Jaume
Route: Plaça Reial, Passatge de Colom, La Rambla (ascending side), 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 at around 12.45 pm)
This year, the oldest and one of the most solemn events at the Winter Festival pays tribute to Maria Aurèlia Capmany who, whilst at the Department of Culture of Barcelona City Council, played a key role in reviving the modern Feast of Saint Eulàlia in 1983. To commemorate the centenary of her birth and, at the same time, celebrate the 35th anniversary of the festivities, giants from all the folklore groups of Barcelona will gather in this great meeting in Plaça Real before joining the Procession of Saint Eulàlia. The first edition of this event, which took place in 1983, was the origin of the contemporary version of the Feast of Saint Eulàlia.
The Giantess Laia and the Pennant of Saint Eulàlia lead the parade, followed by the Eagle, the Lion and other members of the historic and festive bestiary. Next, led by the Giants of the City, all the other giants, giantesses and dwarves gathered in the square join the parade, which ends in Plaça de Sant Jaume. At around 1.15, the dances of Laia, the Eagle and the Giants of the City are performed. Finally, the giants of the Gegants Nous de la Plaça Nova will perform the Dance of Saint Eulàlia.
Five hundred lacemakers come from all over Catalonia to attend the tenth celebration of this meeting and display their cushions, threads, bobbins, patterns and needles in Carrer dels Arcs and Portal de l’Àngel, demonstrating their mastery of the art of lace-making, an important activity in the Catalan textile industry from the 18th to the 20th century. You cannot fail to be impressed by the unmistakable sound of thousands of wooden bobbins moved by the able fingers of the craftspeople who keep this tradition alive.
Parade: 10.15 am, starting in Plaça Nova
Route 1: Plaça Nova, Carrer del Bisbe and Plaça de Sant Jaume
Route 2: Plaça Nova, Carrer del Bisbe, Carrer de la Pietat, Carrer del Paradís and Plaça de Sant Jaume
After an absence of fourteen years, the Castellers de Sarrià return, reborn, to join the casteller groups of Barcelona, Sants, Vila de Gràcia, Poble-sec, Sagrada Família and Jove de Barcelona in Plaça Nova. There, at 10.15 am, they will march, divided into two parades, to Plaça de Sant Jaume. In Carrer del Bisbe, before the Saint Eulàlia door in the Cathedral cloister, the groups will stop to raise pilars in honour of the city’s patron. At 11 am, in Plaça de Sant Jaume, they will begin to build their human towers before the City Hall, launching the season with the first castells of the year. The groups will have to complete all their towers in a time limited to 90 minutes.
Banda Simfònica Roquetes-Nou Barris de Barcelona: Plaça de Catalunya, Portal de l’Àngel, Carrer dels Arcs, Plaça Nova, Carrer dels Boters, Plaça de la Cucurulla, Carrer del Pi, Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, Plaça del Pi, Carrer del Cardenal Casañas, La Rambla, Carrer de Sant Pau, Rambla del Raval and Avinguda de les Drassanes (1.30 pm)
Banda del Col·legi del Pare Manyanet de Barcelona: Plaça de Catalunya, La Rambla, Carrer de l’Hospital, Rambla del Raval and Avinguda de les Drassanes (1.30 pm)
Two ensembles, the Banda Simfònica Roquetes-Nou Barris and the Banda del Col·legi del Pare Manyanet, meet in Plaça de Catalunya before leading two different parades, joining up again at the Marítime Museum, where they will perform together as a big band.
Route: La Rambla (descending side), Carrer de Ferran, Plaça de Sant Jaume
Demonstration of dances: 5.45 pm, Plaça de Sant Jaume
This exhibition highlights the status of these mules as among the oldest members of the festive bestiary and possibly the most numerous after the dragons. At it, Mulassa de Barcelona will be accompanied by Le Poulain de Pézenas, the mule from Occitan catalogued as World Heritage by UNESCO, as well as Mula Baba from Girona and the mulasses from Vilanova i la Geltrú, Reus, Valls, Tarragona, Vic, Sant Feliu de Pallerols and Falset.
This year, Mulassa de Barcelona turns 450, and to celebrate this anniversary the mule will lead a parade with mulasses from all over Catalonia. After taking part in a 10-day exhibition at the Palau de la Virreina, these mules will perform their unusual dances in Plaça de Sant Jaume.
Double bill of Sardanas with Cobla Ciutat de Terrassa and Cobla Ciutat de Cornellà
On Monday, February 12, events begin with the traditional ceremony of hanging the Pennant of Saint Eulàlia from the main balcony of the City Hall by the mayor of Barcelona, accompanied by the councillors. From the square, and as the hymn of Catalonia, Els segadors, is played, the Giantess Laia will salute the pennant, which will preside over celebrations throughout the day.
Sardana dancing with Cobla Sant Jordi – Ciutat de Barcelona
Plaça de Sant Jaume
Sardanas are an essential ingredient at the Feast of Saint Eulàlia. Choose a circle and link hands to enjoy our national dance. If you need to learn first, perhaps our younger participants can teach you at the 15th Santa Eulàlia Children’s Sardana Meeting.
Parade: 7 pm.
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 (arriving at around 7.40 pm).
On the Day of Santa Eulàlia, all the giantesses of Barcelona change their name to Laia to celebrate one of the oldest and most important events at the Winter Festival. Meeting in Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, the giantesses begin a parade, led by the Laies of Plaça Nova and El Pi and the Giantess Laia, and ending in Plaça de Sant Jaume.
Before this, however, at around 7.30 in the evening, as they pass along Baixada de Santa Eulàlia, the procession will halt before the image of the patron saint, making her a floral offering. Then, accompanied by graller music, Laia and Laieta, the giants of Plaça Nova, will perform The Dance of Saint Eulàlia. In Plaça de Sant Jaume, the procession will march under the Pennant of Saint Eulàlia on the balcony of the City Hall before performing the dance once more, in a longer version with group accompaniment, in the centre of the square, accompanied by Cobla Ciutat de Barcelona.