This past weekend (September 21st-24th) was La Mercé, Barcelona’s annual festival. La Mercé is packed with shows, parades, contests and all types of spectacular entertainment. Since I went to Ibiza from Thursday to Saturday, I missed some of the festivities, but still got to attend a few great ones! I got to see light shows on Barcelona’s city hall and Sagrada Familia. Each show had a theme with accompanying music and transitions. It was amazing!

I also got to experience Correfoc, the fire run. This consisted of beasts and devils hopping around the streets swinging fire sticks around at the crowd! If you are in their way, you better watch out! They take no mercy on the crowd. Some of my friends got right near the action and even got holes burned into their clothing!

My favorite event of La Merce was the Castallers, the human towers. This event was early on Monday, so I was still pretty exhausted from Ibiza, but I’m so happy I pulled myself out of bed. They were absolutely breathtaking to watch! There were about 8 teams from the different barrios of Barcelona. Each group was in their own color. They all took turns building their towers in different styles using excellent teamwork and focus the whole time. Check out this video of the blue team!

The weekend ended with a bang. Literally. the closing ceremony consisted of a pyro-musical, a musical fireworks display. It was beautiful. It lasted for about 30 minutes and during the grand finale, everyone in the crowd lit up sparklers! Well, everyone who knew to bring sparklers that is…and I missed that memo!

All in all, it was a great weekend. And yes, we did get Monday off from school (again)! Back to the grind tomorrow. And back later next week with a recap of Zaragoza!


Submitted by Courtney Ellis
Ithaca College
UAB Semester Student, Fall 2012