The neighbourhood of Verneda de Sant Martí, Barcelona, has brought to a close their Festa Major celebrations this past weekend. The festivities, that begun on the 3rd of November, included several local cultural activities like the human towers, also known as Castells, percussion festival, football and table tennis tournaments, as well as open-air theatre plays.
Both tourists and locals showed up for this weekend’s commemorations and partook in the many activities available. The antepenultimate day started off with a football tournament that had the participation of local teams as well as teams made up of tourists. Additionally, there were local bands performing to the masses, as well as an open-air cinema and theatre. To conclude the day, the 60th Premis de Sant Martí took place, which gave recognition to the organisations and people of the neighbourhood that have excelled in promoting and keeping it healthy.
Saturday stood out
The Saturday took off with guided walks through the neighbourhood that has a Roman past. The kids were not forgotten during these celebrations. Special workshops and activities were set aside for the younger ones to partake in. And if the kids were remembered, so were the animals. Dogs up for adoption were brought out so the public could both see and become informed about their struggles and needs. A quick table tennis tournament was held, with a couple of Spaniards being crowned champions at the end of the day. Finally, as alcohol could never go amiss, a Vermut making workshop was the highlight of the day for many of the people present.
The already star-filled final Saturday of the Verneda de Sant Martí’s Festa Major had even more to offer. A percussion festival, known as Perkufest, was held and brought everyone together and onto their feet to dance along the musicians. However, the best was yet to come. In came the human towers, locally known as Castells, to leave everyone starstruck. The groups Castellers de Barcelona and Esquerdats de l’Eixample gave a memorable performance to all of those that attended. Over 75 Castellers got on top of each other to form a tower many meters tall.
The very final day of the celebrations was just unforgettable as all the previous days. It begun early morning with local music to bring everyone back onto their feet along the streets. Later, the focus was put on inclusivity, as a “party with wheels” was held for both kids and wheelchair users alike. To the end the festivities on a high, an intercultural music and dance celebrations was had in the Auditori Sant Martí. Local and foreign typical dances were performed in front of dozens, enriching their lives with different cultures.
Verneda de Sant Martí amongst other ‘Festa Majors’
The Festa Major of Verneda de Sant Martí is just one of the 80 different neighbourhood festivities that take in Barcelona throughout the year. As always, the celebrations begun early in the year with Sant Antoni and finished with Sant Andreu. The most well-known amongst both locals and tourists are the ones in Gracia and Sants. With that being said, Verneda de Sant Martí also has its name marked in everyone’s calendar.
This year’s Festa Major has slowly, but surely recaptured the spirit which had been lost due to Covid-19. After last year’s slow and almost empty celebrations, this year managed to bring people back onto the streets to celebrate. A showcase of what the Festa Majors’ are all about. The people in each neighbourhood rejoicing life amongst each other. This was a showing of what is expected in years to come with the return to a new normality.
Luke Wilson and Maxime De Brouwer