The moment calls for a festival – Barcelona does it well

I found myself one grey day last week sitting in a dim lit square in the district of Gràcia. Nothing special was happening at the time so I ordered an equally dim americano with ice to fill up the boring space.

Then as the clouds descended deeper into the square, a man with a saw showed up. I noticed that despite his kindly demeanour, his clothes were rugged.

Then I observed the man as he opened the electric saw and began to work through some orange plastic pallets. I must say, the flakes of plastic that petaled to the ground around him looked like organised confetti.

It was only some hours later, as I passed through the silent streets of Gràcia that cloudy day, that I realised I was paying homage to the preparations of the annual Festa Major de Gràcia. Along with a few more curious by-passers, the streets were occupied by neighbours painting, building, colouring, sawing, screwing and sitting among their well made decorations.

It was four years ago when I last attended the popular barrio festival, where the art and creativity bowled me over, the community spirit elevated me, the music and magic made me smile and the coffee and ice cream tasted sweeter.

This year however, I was looking at the festival through another lens. One that was observing the real, living, breathing orchestration that pulled it all together. And for that, I was humbled.

There was so much love, so much thought, so much work and so much good energy directed at the streets and this festival tradition that the mere by-passer could become stifled under its energy field.

So in honour of Festa Major de Gràcia 2019 and the upcoming festivals taking place across the city this weekend and in the comings weeks, thank you.

The party lives on and the neighbours joice together for another year of concerts, dancing, street art, food, friends, expositions and very very cool streets.

Hope to see you at the festival over the weekend.

All the best
Anneka and Teresa

P.S. In case you’d like the schedule of upcoming festivals over the next weeks, you can find it here.

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