Today kicks off the first day of Barcelona's biggest annual street party that lasts for four-days. Mercè is the citywide celebration in honor of the city's patron saint, Mare de Deu de la Mercè.
As you would expect with a city known for celebrating just about anything, people pull out all the stops in the last celebration of the summer. In 1902 the first official Mercè festa was celebrated. Mercè is Barcelona's Festa Major.
Free Entry to Museums: As part of Mercè, all Barcelona museums, galleries and cultural centers will have free admission on certain days. Below are a few links to family-related events at the museums. For a more complete list, please see the compilation by Kids In Barcelona or the Official Mercè Website.
- CosmoCaixa: 24 September 2009 from 10 AM to 8 PM. Also, in celebration of CosmoCaixa's fifth anniversary special free events are planned from 24-27 September 2009.
- Museu Picasso: 24 September 2009 from 10 AM to 8 PM.
- (MNAC): 24 September 2009 from 10 AM to 7 PM.
- (MACBA): Free museum entry on 24 September 2009 from Free family workshops on 24 & 27 September 2009 from 10 AM to 2 PM and 25 & 26 September 2009 from 10 AM to 2 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM.
- Poble Espanyol:
Festival Asia: Taking place in the Parc de la Ciutadella the 8th annual Festival Asia hosts activities to discover Asia through your five senses. In the park you will find ikebana, kabaddi, wushu wushu and sari wearing demonstrations. Families can learn Bollywood dances, how to throw a boomerang, yoga and how to play Chinese games. There is a Chinese dragon parade and outdoor film shows. In the Marquee of Voices zone you will find Asian storytelling. You can even learn Asian baby songs and games and techniques for calming babies. Throughout the Festival Asia in the front of the Museo de Geologia de Barcelona you can enjoy traditional meals from India, the Philippines, China, Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Free Children's Play Market: 24 September 2009 from 11 AM to 3 PM at
Correfoc: Another traditional aspect of Catalan festas is the "correfoc" or "fire run." The diables run throughout the streets of Barcelona with fireworks and sparklers. On 26 September 2009 from 6 to 8 PM there is a Correfoc Infantil, a chance for the children diables to get their own fire run.
Festival Pirotècnic: 24-26 September 2009 at Barceloneta beach. Each night features impressive firework displays from Spain, France and the USA.
For a complete listing of information please see the sites below:
Official schedule of Mercè Events (Catalan/Castellano)
Mercè Activity Map Along with Public Transportation Information (Catalan/Casellano)