• Santa Eulalia Festivities 2020

    The 5 new features of this winter festival in Barcelona

ICONO recommends: Santa Eulalia 2020

Santa Eulàlia 2020 is coming and we ICONO want you to celebrate it. We tell you which are the best activities of this celebration and the 5 new features of this year’s edition.

From February 7 to 12, Barcelona will celebrate Santa Eulàlia, the city’s biggest winter festival. But being a small party does not mean that it is not one of the most anticipated dates of the whole festive season in Barcelona. This year they will be introducing several new features, which we tell you below.

The Santa Eulàlia festivities, also known as La Laia or as Barcelona’s winter festival, is held around the 12th February each year in squares and streets all across the city.

It is a small and intimate party, full of diverse popular culture activities for all ages. Among the events, highlights include the procession of Laies, the Santa Eulalia parade, human towers in the diada castellera, sardana dancing, and a fire run involving fire beasts and devils both large and small.

Reason

The festival pays homage to St Eulàlia, patron saint of the city since the end of the 17th century. Barcelona legend tells of how, in the 4th century, the Roman Emperor Diocles ordered the persecution of all Christians in the empire. In Barcelona, many hid and some fled. Upon seeing this situation, Eulàlia, a 13-year-old girl who lived in a house in Sarrià, courageously presented herself to the Roman consul Dacià, to protest against such injustice.  Eulàlia was imprisoned and punished, but she was not defeated and did not stop fighting for her ideals. This ended up costing her her life.

From then on the girl became a symbol of solidarity and the defence of justice, and she is still venerated by the people of Barcelona.

Origins

The Santa Eulàlia festival celebrations in Barcelona are relatively recent. Not including some folk performances, dances and games that date back to the 18th century, the Santa Eulàlia festivities have been irregular and, well into the 1980s, they were mainly confined to religious activities in the Catholic church and certain institutional celebrations at Barcelona City Hall.

In 1983, as an initiative of the colles de gegants from Ciutat Vella (from Pi and Plaça Nova), and in 1985, with Maria Aurèlia Capmany as Councillor for Culture, the foundations for the new celebration were laid. It took form thanks also to impetus from the Coordinadora de Colles de Gegants i Bestiari in Ciutat Vella, who quickly incorporated several events with traditional roots. Over the years many diverse activities and exhibitions of folk culture have been added that have become repeat events. And finally, in the 1990s, the festes de Santa Eulàlia established a very specific festival protocol which consolidated them further.

Want to discover it yourself?

ICONO organizes your visit to Barcelona.

We ICONO want to celebrate with you and we want to organize your visit to Barcelona. We take charge of every detail: a comfortable tour, with an official expert guide who will answer all your questions and with whoever you want to share the experience. You only have to fill out the next form:

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This post is also available in: Spanish Catalan