Saturday, August 30, 2014

Scenes from the Festa Major de Sants

It's widely acknowledged here in Barcelona that the summer festival in Gracia that I wrote about last time, is the one for the big crowds and the tourists. But the summer festival that's for the locals is the one in my own neighborhood of Sants. When we moved to this neighborhood, we had no idea that it had a certain reputation and we knew nothing of its history. We later learned that this was a former industrial hub in the city and that families who live here have lived here for generations meaning that there's a strong community spirit here. Today, our neighborhood has also gotten a reputation for being home to many young hippies, plenty hipsters (artisanal beers at Homo Sibaris anyone?) and fervent political activists (yep, this was the neighborhood where the rioting took place a few months ago over the demolition of an occupied city building). All of this is very interesting to know of course (or it is for me anyway), but let's move on to the festival and the street decorations, shall we?

Here are some scenes from the Fiesta de Sants:

First up, a medieval themed street in Carrer Alcolea de d'alt complete with swords and shields, darts, and a castle. These made up flags with dragons made me feel like I was in Game of Thrones or something. 

A tribute to Barcelona's beloved architect, Antoni Gaudí, with a mini version of Parc Guëll on Carrer Vallespir.  You can't see it very well, but that's actually water coming out of the iguana's mouth. Clever, eh?

I told you our neighborhood was political. So why not a satirically themed Communist North Korea street on Carrer Alcolea baix? It was funny and mildly disturbing at the same time. 

More from the communist street. There was a tank, this fighter plane, a checkpoint and fake propaganda pinned up here and there 

In our day and age, the designers of the themed streets fully expect people to post to social networking sites so they created a 'selfie' backdrop here. I hate that that word's been adopted into the Spanish language. The English one too actually. 

Carrer Roses was decorated with a comic book theme. Specifically, the long running Spanish comic 13, Rue del Percebe. It was so well done! I instantly went home and looked this comic up because, not being from here originally, I'd never heard of it. Here's a close up of one  of the boxes:

 I loved finding the mini details like the picture hung on the wall, the sconce, and the flowers on the balcony. 

There's so much more to the festivities than the street decorations. There are concerts, dancing, water balloon fights, paint fights, puppet shows, face painting, balloon animals, and more. It's a lively but noisy time to be in the city. Sometimes the festivities go on until the wee hours and the Professor and I complain to each other about the noise of the crowds and the loud, dated music (the YMCA AGAIN?! What year is this?!) But really it's a lot of fun. 
 And it's also a great opportunity to buy yummy fried foods and food on a stick. 

And dance around with your squealing, happy baby to disco music under strings of lights.

So that's what we've been up to lately. Here's what we did last week in case you missed it. 

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