La Mercè or Festes de la Mercè (Festival of the Virgin of Mercy) is the annual festival held in the city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain.
This is the celebration of the Patron Saint of Barcelona, the Virgin Mary, who is called “María de las Mercedes” which means “Mary of Mercies.”
She is also known by many other names which include – ”La Mare de Deu de la Mercè,” which means “Mother of God of Mercy” or “Virgin de La Mercè” which means “Virgin of Mercy” or “Nuestra Señora de la Merced” (Spanish) which means Our Lady of Mercy – or La Mercè for short. The words “Mercè” in Catalan and “Merced” in Spanish, mean “mercy” in English.
Every year the main feast takes place on September 24, which is a public holiday in the region.
However there are many events which start taking place from 21st or 22nd September.
Events include the parade of the giants which is a street processions made up of giant wooden figures (gegants) operated by people.
There are also sports events, musical performances, fantastic firework displays and plenty drinking as is the case at just about all festivals nationwide.
One highlight that you must look out for is the competition for which groups of people can form the highest human tower. The best place to find the towers is in Placa de Sant Jaume where participants in traditional costume (castellers) climb on top of one another until they can hold no more. This human tower often reaches around eight levels. The event is similar to the Krishna Janmashtami Human Pyramids that Break Dahi Handi’s.