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Festes de La Merce

festes de la merce -

Every September, Barcelona holds its largest street festival, Festes de La Merce, to bid goodbye to summer with one serious, city-wide bang. I’m still recovering.

LuAnne and I booked a * room (that’s one star, folks) on Las Ramblas. It was the only available room in Barcelona. It was then that we learned the city was throwing us a party.

Every year at the end of September Barcelona holds its largest street festival, Festes de La Merce. It’s held in honor of LuAnne and me (and, to a lesser degree, Mare de Deu de la Merce, the Patron Saint of Barcelona). The festival bids goodbye to summer. With a bang.

I’m still recovering.

Barcelona’s like the anti-Le Vigan. Party til 5 a.m. You may as well stay up that late since the drums, horns, party people, and fireworks will keep you up til then. And awaken each day at 9 a.m. to the marching band on the street below. This must be what Carnival is like.

There’s the Correfoc (fire run), where sparkler fireworks are sprayed into the crowds. And the Castellers (human towers). And the Gigantes, giant effigies of kings, queens, and nobles that march through the streets. And exactly 23 hours a day of horns and drums.

And crowds. Holy crap. For four days the city felt like the anarchy of the AC/DC show I saw in Sevilla. Or the global deluge that was the ’96 Olympics in Atlanta. I honestly didn’t know there were this many people in the entire world.

Everyone on the planet was in Barcelona. You were there and just didn’t know it. Trust me, I saw you. You might not remember it because each night you stayed up eight hours past your regular bedtime.

You had a good time, though. You’ll have to trust me on that count too.

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