According to the legend, the Virgin appeared to the King Jaime I, San Pedro Nolasco and San Ramón de Penyafort during the night of September 24th 1218, asking them to create a monk order to help the Christians surrounded by Sarasins. In 1687, a pandemic occurred in Barcelona: the locust plague. The entire city started to pray the Virgin of the Mercè to save them. When Barcelona ceased to be wasting away through illness, the City Council, in a gesture to thank heavens, named the Virgin of Grace the patron saint of Barcelona. However, the Pope only ratified it in 1868. After he did, the city decided to organize a festival each September to celebrate the Virgin. The first "La Mercè" festival was introduced in 1902.
The theme is different every year and is not revealed until the fiesta begins.
If you want to discover the Catalan culture and its tradition, read on! Let’s see what festival La Mercè is.
We recommend you to dress up with long-sleeved shirts and nonflammable pants. You don’t want the night to turn into a big nightmare, do you?
In addition to these activities, you will be able to enjoy music concerts of the BAM (Barcelona Acció Musical). Bands and groups play all around the city, at every corner, on every places. More than 60 eclectic concerts (from jazz to electronic music) take place to entertain you. For more information about this music festival, visit the dedicated website.