La Mercé: Great big giant heads, parades, fireworks, music, dance…

From the title, you get the idea. La Mercé is the annual festival of Our Lady of Mercy, one of the patronesses of Barcelona. It spans a week, this year Sept. 18-24 and there are more events than one person could get to. We went to see the giants and the giant heads before they emerged. They don’t march in a parade, they dance down the street.



The attendants are “Big Heads”


Music is provided courtesy of the Middle Ages, a chorus of oboes, bagpipes, and other loud and squealing things.


Maybe that’s why she carries a pig. It was part of the band!


This was the first parade. The next parade was monsters and devils. We saw some of them in advance:

9.17.15-014sm 9.17.15-017sm 9.17.15-018sm 9.17.15-023sm 9.17.15-026sm

They looked more threatening at night in the street:

9.19.15 La Merce-012sm 9.19.15 La Merce-050sm 9.19.15 La Merce-051sm

Several of the dragons, including the angry dolphin, squirted water on the crowd.

9.19.15 La Merce-029sm

There was a drum group with almost every dragon, a group of 10-16 people, more than half of them women. They made a wall of sound and danced at the same time, some groups more choreographed than others. Impressive.


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

%d bloggers like this: