Of course Barcelona constantly welcomes tourists from the whole world over, but should you be so lucky as to be in the city for one of the many Catalan festivals and celebrations, you will be left in complete awe of the magic Barcelona is home to. Perhaps the most famous of these celebrations is the much anticipated La Mercè festival, named for the patron saint of the city which is at the basis for this celebration, La Mercè presents a dizzying array of traditions and activities for adults and children alike, and it's a terribly good time!
We were fortunate enough to be in the middle of the action for most of the festivities of La Mercè 2013 in Barcelona. From the hell raising drums for days on end, to the monsters paraded about the streets of the old city, to the 'gegants' who dance and entertain, to the death-defying acts of the 'castellers', to the traditional folk dances, to the waking of the whole city early Sunday morning with old muskets, to the carefully coordinated religious observances, and to the deliciously dangerous (but carefully monitored) 'correfoc' - La Mercè put on a display of the proud heritage of the Catalans which populate Barcelona and add to the fantastic cultural tapestry that Spain is so fortunate to have.
We sincerely hope the photos do at least some justice to how much fun La Mercè can be if you're open to taking it all in, and embracing the magic.