KelsieGleason's Travel Journals

KelsieGleason Kelsie Gleason

  • 27 years old
  • From Illinois, United States
  • Currently in Barcelona, Spain

Visions and Revisions: Discovering the Culture of Barcelona

This journal will serve as a collection of my experiences, observations, and reflections over the next four months of cultural immersion in Barcelona.

Festival de Santa Eulalia

Spain Barcelona, Spain  |  Feb 13, 2011
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Today was the feast day of Santa Eulalia, one of the patron saints of Barcelona, so it was essentially an all-out party in the streets of the city. The festivities started at 10am and still haven’t stopped! To celebrate Barcelona’s young martyr, we watched a parade of gegants march across the city, listened to Catalan oboe and violin music, watched castellers make human towers, watched Catalan dances, and witnessed the correfoc where small children strap fireworks to their heads and run through the crowd. All in all I’d say it was quite an exciting day! Each neighborhood makes its own gegants and a band of drummers and oboe players march down the street after the gegants. You could tell which people in the crowd were from which neighborhood because they only cheered when their barrio’s gegant was announced. The castellers were another type of competition to make a human tower 3-4 people high and then walk across the plaza while balanced on each other’ s shoulders. The person on top of the towers was a kid about 4 years old (thankfully wearing a helmet…) The climax of the festival was at dusk when the correfoc began. With so many people and so much fire, it was a miracle that no one exploded or ignited! This was definitely a huge Catalan holiday—I’ve never seen so many Catalan flags everywhere or heard so many people speaking Catalan! Even people at stores that would normally be okay with speaking Castilian answered me only in Catalan. They are so proud of their culture and I’m just glad that I got to be a part of it!

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