Harry Potter vs Poseidon? Sí, Gràcia’s!

Fairytale awaits at Festa Major de Gràcia in Barcelona this August

Expect to see all kinds of creatures at the Festa Major de Gràcia (Marina Sáez Rubio)
Expect to see all kinds of creatures at the Festa Major de Gràcia (Marina Sáez Rubio) / Oliver Little

Oliver Little | Barcelona

August 14, 2019 01:16 PM

August 15th once again kicks off of one of Barcelona’s most popular, friendly and whacky festivals of the year.   

The Festa Major de Gràcia enters its 202nd year - every year from August 15th-21st, as many as 2 million people flood 24 streets and squares of the neighbourhood of Gràcia.

Just a 20-minute walk from the Plaça de Catalunya, locals and visitors alike may roam the finely adorned streets for free.  Streets and squares are brimming with handmade decorations as residents compete for first-place in this celebrated street-decoration competition.  

Previous years have seen King Kong scaling the side of the Empire State Building, an (almost) life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex, Russian Revolution Leader Vladimir Lenin and many more.  Themes change every year, and this year promises Harry Potter, the mythological world of Atlantis and much more - whatever you are imagining now, it will probably be there.

However, it is not just the decorations that attract the crowds to Gràcia.  Nearly 1000 activities are also on offer over the course of the week - with human towers, traditional Catalan dancing, food tasting and many more, there will always be something else to do.

Finally, if stunning original decorations and festive activities aren’t your thing (I mean really?), perhaps we can persuade you with free open-air concerts.  Make sure you pop into festival squares such as the Plaça del Sol and the Plaça del Diamant in the evenings for folk and pop concerts, individual gigs and above all, Catalonia’s ‘rumba catalana’ music.  

What’s on today 

Before the celebrations, there are pre-celebrations!  Head to Gràcia this evening to be part of the start of the festivities:

At 17.30, follow the procession from the Festa Major de Gràcia Foundation’s headquarters up to the Plaça de la Vila, where you will see the speakers accompanied by the Gracia Giants and Eagle.

At 18.00, don’t miss the traditional music of the opening parade, starting in ‘La Calle Violeta’ and heading to the Plaça de la Vila.Preparations for the Gràcia festival have been underway for weeks (Ariana Coma)

At 19.00, Special Olympic basketball players Cristina Pandis, Xènia Galtés, Paola Manjón and Noèlia Bautista will officially kick off the festival.


The festival this year is increasing its regard for disabled people.  For the first time, there will be a prize for the most accessible street, and activities specially designed to allow disabled people to participate.

The festival will have 97 washrooms, 23 of which have special mobility access.  Finally, for its third consecutive year, there will be an anti-sexism information stand as the festival continues to combat violence against women. This year, the slogan ‘No means no’ has been replaced by ‘Only yes means yes’.  

Visit the festival’s official website for more information, where you can find the full list of street themes, activities and more.