La Mercè is a festival held in September in honor of the virgin Mary (La Mercè) who is believed to be the city’s patroness. This festival hails all the way back to 1902 and marks the transition from the summer season into autumn. The celebrations typically include concerts, music and dancing, fireworks and spectacular costumes.
A central aspect of La Mercè, and one of the most typical Catalan symbols, is the human towers - ‘castellers’ – which are formed on the city’s squares, and which have been recently designated as ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO. There are splendid celebrations throughout the day and night; one spectacular example being Carrefoc, which is a parade of dragons, eagles and devils at midnight. La Mercè is an excellent place to view and be involved in Catalan culture and the charming Catalan celebratory spirit.