The contrast between cosmopolitan and folklore
Barcelona is known worldwide as an innovative and creative city with a modern system of transportation and a great cultural mixture that lives in it that makes it a Cosmopolitan city. Nevertheless, its traditions and popular festivals that take place constantly and, most of the time, have an important sentimental value for its residents are not that famous.
As part of “The 5 3 1 Combination” of the week, which you can follo won our Instagram account, Not Just Fashion Magazine gives you the opportunity to learn about some traditions of Barcelona´s culture.
They are figures of great dimensions managed by a person that makes them dance to the rhythm of popular songs of the city. They can be found on different countries of Europe, nevertheless, in Spain, the first ones documented belong to the year 1424 in Barcelona.
Theses figures represent several characters and change depending on the neighborhood, town or city where the festivals take place. In Barcelona, since 1929, the giants impersonate Jaume I, King of Aragón, King and founder of the kingdoms of Valencia, Mallorca and count of Barcelona, and Violant of Hungary, his second wife.
The figure of Jaume I wears a bronze belt with the city´s shield, on its right hand a golden scepter crowned with a winged dragon and on the left hand a world ball crowned with a ship. On Violant of Hungary´s case, it wears a necklace with the name of the city to make itself known wherever it goes whilst on the right hand holds a mirror with the map of Europe with Barcelona on the center and on the left hand a bouquet of flowers with a tissue specially sewed every year for the ocassion.
The human towers or castells in Catalan originated in Tarragona, a city part of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, more than two hundred years ago. They have several levels that are built by sections. Every population form a group which is called colla in Catalan. It is an activity where family participates and passes on the tradition from one generation to another keeping the values of belonging to it: “Strength, Balance, Value and Common Sense”.
In each of the popular festivals they make performances that give you the chills while they are joined by musicians that play every time they built a tower. Barcelona´s colla was founded on 1969 and actually have 10 active groups thay maintain this tradition in the city. The human towers were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO on 2010.
They are a group of people diguised as demons that parade on the streets joined by monsters that throw “fire” out of their mouths. They have on them flares and sticks where they put fireworks which they take from one side to the other jumping and dancing to the rhythm of the timbals.
On many ocassions you can frequently see adults and young people running among the correfocs lighting flares to join them. In Barcelona, during the popular festival of La Mercè, there is a parade with no fireworks the first days so people can enjoy watching the monstruos figures they have created for the festvial. To conclude, they parade going out of “The Door of Hell”, a big stage full with pyrotechnic games to light the night.
We invite you to keep Reading Not Just Fashion Magazine to learn more details about the Catalan culture through Barcelona.