Author: Stay U-nique
Sant Medir Festival: 3rd March
Who is Sant Medir?
He is the co-patron saint of the town, Sant Cugat, where he lived during the Roman period.
The legend states that in 303 during the prosecution on the Christians by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the Bishop of Barcelona, Sever, fled the city. Whilst fleeing, the Bishop encountered the farmer Medir planting beans.
The Bishop explained his reason for escaping the city and determined to die by the faith of Jesus Christ, told Medir to tell the truth if anyone should ask. Once the Bishop left, the beans miraculously began to grow and bloom.
When the Roman pursuers came looking for the Bishop, Medir told the truth but he was captured and imprisoned due to the pursuers thinking that Medir was lying to them. The Bishop was subsequently captured and were both martyred.
Why is he celebrated?
The origins of the festival can be traced back to 1828 when the baker, Josep Vidal i Granés, promised Sant Medir that if he recovered from the illness he was suffering, he would go on a pilgrimage to the Sant Medir Hermitage.
Gradually, family and friends of Vidal joined him on the pilgrimage. On their return they would throw beans to the public in honour of the saint who, according to legend, sowed them. Overtime, the beans were replaced by sweets, making the festival now known as the dolça festa (the sweet festival).
How is it celebrated?
In the morning of the 3rd, a parade takes place through the main streets and squares of Barcelona. The parade consists of colles (festival groups) made up of horses, carriages and trucks, led by a band. Sweets are thrown from the colles to the public on the street who are usually waiting along the streets with bags to collect the sweets.
At around 1pm, all groups participating gather around the Sant Medir Hermitage, where a mass is given.
The evening of the festival is traditionally celebrated in the district of Gràcia where at 8pm, the parade commences, again distributing sweets to the on-lookers. The festival ends in the Pla de Salmeron where a platform is placed where the most important authorities, such as the Mayor of Barcelona, greet the Colles individually, often exchanging sweets.
Barcelona Beer Festival: 13th – 15th March
The Barcelona Beer Festival showcases 646 different craft beers from 110 taps at La Farga de l’Hospitalet. With a wide range of flavours and aromas from all around the world, this festival is a must for those looking for a true gastronomic experience!
Tickets for the festival range from 7 – 50€. All the tickets include a glass, to be able to taste the beers, tokens (1 token = 1€) in order to purchase food and beer during the festival and a map. A ticket for entry for just 1 day of the festival is 7€, when purchased online, and 8€, when bought at the ticket office. The single day ticket includes a glass, map and tokens. The higher range ticket of 50€ includes a tasting glass, map, 20 tokens, T-shirt and a bag, giving you a souvenir to remember the experience!
The festival doesn’t just serve beer, there are also 6 gastronomic stands serving a variety of food and a number of activities to take part in!
The Barcelona Marathon: 15th March
For any avid runners, why not take part in the 42th Edition of the Barcelona Marathon?
The flat and fast circuit starting and finishing at Avinguda María Cristina, with the route taking you past some of Barcelona’s famous landmarks such as Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló make this a unique and attractive course for many. To take part, you need to register so you are all set for the big day!
St Patrick’s Day: 17th March
Who is St Patrick?
He is the patron saint of Ireland, born in the Roman period during the fifth century. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at 16. He later escaped but returned to Ireland and credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Following his death, many legends and myths have become associated with his life, the most well known being that he explained the holy trinity by using the three leaves of the native Irish clover, the shamrock.
How is St Patrick’s Day celebrated?
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated by Irish communities all over the world on the anniversary of his death, 17th March. People typically dress-up in green clothing and parades and parties usually take place. Some people even go on a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory on Station Island in Lough Derg.
In Barcelona, you can join in the celebrations by going to many of the Irish pubs located around the city and enjoy a pint of Guinness, that may even be dyed green!
Rally Barcelona – Sitges: 21st – 23rd March
Dating back to 1959, the race with vintage/classic cars from Barcelona to Sitges is not to be missed! Drivers dress-up according to the time period that their vehicle was built.
Throughout the days, exhibitions will be taking place showcasing classic models of cars as well as the cars participating in the rally. Along with other events such as a live performance of a swing group.
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