Unique traditions

If you think that you have to go outside the regions of Barcelona to enjoy ancient spectacles and traditions, you have obviously never experienced the atmosphere of the festivals of human towers (castells) or the Patum on Berga's Saint Peter's Square. These traditions are UNESCO Masterpieces of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity and must-see cultural expressions that need to be added to your diary!

Castells gained universal recognition in 2010, and no wonder: seeing how they raise these human towers gives you goosebumps! Built under the motto of "strength, balance, courage and good sense" and accompanied by the music of the gralla, the human tower consists of 10 tiers and is only completed when a five-year-old child, the enxaneta, climbs to the top and raises one hand with four fingers erect. The Festival of Sant Fèlix in Vilafranca del Penedès is an excellent opportunity to share in the collective euphoria of the occasion and is one of many celebrations that include this special tradition in their programme of events.

UNESCO also included the Patum of Berga to its exclusive list of intangible masterpieces. The UN agency believes that it is vital to preserve for posterity a festival whose origin is to be found in the theatrical performances that used to accompany the Corpus Christi processions of the Middle Ages, in which fire, music and a variety of effigies were the main protagonists. Watching the demons and beasts dancing to the fast pace of the drums is such an impressive sight that it is not easily forgotten!


  • Find out about the intricate symbolism of the festival on the website of Berga's Casa de la Patum.

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