Barcelona’s big annual winter bash, the Laia, aims to appeal to young and old. To do so, it is offering a whole host of events and activities from 11 to 13 February, ranging from tradition to the latest urban culture.
On the first day of the festival, St Eulàlia’s day, there will be a procession of giant Laia figures, which will be joined by all the city’s other giants, parading down the narrow streets of the Gòtic neighbourhood. If you ask any of them what they’re called, they’ll say “Laia”.
You’ve a further date with a more traditional Laia, on Sunday 13 February, with the St Eulàlia Procession, finishing at Plaça de Sant Jaume, where there will be a Dance featuring the Giantess Laia, other Giants and the Àliga de la Ciutat [City Eagle]. Immediately afterwards there will be a diada castellera or “human-tower building” competition.
There will then be the St Eulàlia Correfoc or “fire run”, followed by a children’s version of that consisting of little devils.
You mustn’t miss the Catalan Festive Bestiary Exhibition either, where you will be able to see, besides city figures like the eagle, lion and the mule, the Pollo del Prat de Llobregat [chicken], the Vaca Xula de Vacarisses [cow] and the Ramat d’Ovelles de Canovelles [flock of sheep].
A Laia festival at its most spectacular
Circus, dance and physical theatre will be filling the festival with shows. A Circus Cabaret will be held jointly with the Catalan Circus Professionals Association on the nights of 11 and 12 February, featuring a selection of home-grown circus acts.
The festivities will include the Barcelona Total Session, Barcelona’s first breakers’ meeting point, where you can watch the city’s and Grenoble’s bboys dance.
A Laia festival at its most cultural
To mark the St Eulàlia festivities, open days are to be held at various city spaces, including City Hall, museums and the Botanical Gardens.
There will be free entry for most of these venues on Saturday 12 February, although some are likely to open on Sunday 13 February.
Many have activities specially prepared for the occasion, such as guided tours and workshops. So, for example, a solar observation has been organised at Montjuïc Castle, while legends and myths from native-American culture are to be narrated at the Museu Barbier-Mueller.
Font: Ajuntament de Barcelona