La Mercè, the annual Catalan festival, will be celebrated from September 21 to September 24, 2013, in Barcelona, Spain. It has been an official city holiday since 1871, when the local government first organized a program of special activities to observe the Roman Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, La Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Catalan. Although the actual feast day is September 24, the festivities begin a few days beforehand.
“Castellers, gegants and capgrossos (castle-builders, giants and bigheads) groups of devils and all kinds of popular culture associations are ready to fill the streets, once the signal is given for the festivities to start. You will see them keeping alive a flame that has been burning for a long time and which, for some years now, has shared centre stage with the lights of modernity: those that light up some of our unique buildings in subtle light shows.” – Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona