Happy New Year everyone! Well, I'm a bit late with the well wishes but it's been a busy start to 2012 for me, so there you go. Here's hoping this year is great for everyone.
There's no messing about in Barcelona, no moping about the cutbacks (ok, maybe just a bit) and shortly after the craziness of the King's parade, we're straight in with another local festival. Yes, from the 13th to 22nd January, it's the Festa Major Sant Antoni. No matter that the market itself is undergoing a (very slow) refurbishment, there's plenty going on all week for people of all ages, and if I'm not mistaken, it's a fairly long festival for just being a neighbourhood one.
This weekend just gone I wandered along with the kids and my wife to check out the opening parade. It had all the usual things I've come to expect with gegants, castellers, drummers and dancers, but what surprised me the most was the beginning, or rather, the people at the front.
I could probably look up somewhere the significance (or if anyone knows, please leave me a comment) but the people at the front had kind of fake old-style shotguns and fired EXTREMELY LOUD shots into the air. We heard the procession from about 6 blocks away, and when the pistoleros were actually in front of you it was really deafening, like shake your body deafening. Very cool.
My wife and kids put their fingers in their ears, and some of those participating also had ear plugs in. Some of the guns also fired cofetti all over the floor, and it was great fun.
There was a comedy fire truck which was helping animate the crowds, and spraying paper all over the floor (and the BCNeta guys were not far behind!).
Diablos with flares and the most attractive swine:
There are activities going on all week, so check out the programme in the link above, and leave me a comment if there's anything you'd like to specifically highlight or reccommend. Thanks!
Coming to Barcelona this month? Check out BCN Rentals apartments for a great deal on accommodation. And for a quick look at the city sights, see this Barcelona online Guide.