miramar | 07.09.2021

Another September comes, and so it does one of the most awaited moments for all the people of Barcelona: The festivities of La Mercè (La Virgen de la Merced). In addition, this year is even more special, as it commemorates its 150th anniversary since it was first celebrated as the great popular festival of Barcelona in 1871. We tell you all the details of this multitudinous festivity.

The festival pays homage to the Virgin of La Mercè, to whom several miracles are attributed. The first reference we have dates back to the night of September 24, 1218, when it is said that the Virgin appeared simultaneously to King Jaume I, Sant Pere Nolasc and Sant Ramon de Penyafort to create an order of monks dedicated to saving Christians. Years later, in 1687, Barcelona suffered a terrible plague of locusts and the people invoked the protection of the Virgin of La Mercè. Once the plague was over, the Virgin was named patron saint.

This 2021, the celebration will take place from September 23 to September 26 and, as every year, has a guest city, now it is the turn of Havana, already chosen in the edition of La Mercè 2020, but its participation had to be postponed to this year due to the pandemic. The Cuban capital will participate in the festivities demonstrating its cultural diversity through various artistic groups of dance, visual arts, film and music.

The poster for this edition is the work of Malika Favre, an artist of French origin and resident in Barcelona, who has chosen to represent La Mercè as a powerful woman adorned by the most iconic emblems of the Catalan capital: sardana dancers, modernist mosaics and the characteristic flower of Barcelona. A poster very well received by the public, who have shown their liking in social media.

As for the proclamation, the person in charge of delivering it will be Custodia Moreno Rivero, feminist activist and neighborhood leader who fought to put an end to the shantytowns of Carmel, where she grew up precariously in the 70s.

As usual, the program of La Mercè includes concerts and all kinds of performances in the streets of the city, as well as fireworks and the traditional fireworks display that closes the festival each year, although in this edition will be divided into four different parts of the city to avoid crowds. Art, music, cinema, theater and children's activities are the stars of these festivities, and public transport, especially the subway, will have extended schedules to facilitate mobility. However, it should be noted that due to the pandemic situation, it will be necessary to reserve a seat in advance to attend some of the events.

For the full schedule of the festivities of La Mercè 2021 you can visit the website of the Barcelona City Council or download the official APP.

Don't miss the Festes de la Mercè!

Cover photo: Ajuntament de Barcelona (Malika Favre)


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