The children of Barcelona will be celebrating the city's co-patron saint, Santa Eulàlia, from the 12th to the 14th of February 2010. In the city where there seems to be a festival every month, there should be a few dedicated to the "nens" right? Especially when the city's co-patron saint is a child martyr. La Laia, the festival's name, is the nickname for Eulàlia.
:: Events ::
This is a completely child-centered festival. There are a ton of free performances, dances, parades and workshops). And of course, a "correfoc"! Barcelona's "petits diables" will do a "fire run" (without fire *I think*) on Sunday night. You can download the program activity guide here. Many museums have free entry and special events during the festival. Barcelona's Ajuntament provides a guide to all the museum-related activities for La Laia (10 pages!!!). Below are a few highlights, but be sure to check the links above because there are endless events.
Xocolatada and Parade of Gegants: One of my favorite customs here in Catalunya - the xocolatada! On Friday, February 12th at 6:30 pm at Plaça Sant Josep Oriol free hot chocolate (and usually a piece of cake) will be given to children. After the xocolatada at 7:30 pm, the gegants will make a parade following this route: C/ del Pi, Plaça Cucurulla; C/ Boters, Plaça Nova C/ del Bisbe, C/ Sant Sever, Baixada de Sta. Eulàlia, C/ Banys Nous, C/ Ferran and arriving at the Plaça Sant Jaume by 8:15 pm.
Parade of Gegants Infantils: On Saturday, February 13th, at 10 am, children can meet the "gegantons i gegantets infantil" of Catalunya at Plaça dels Àngels before the giant figures make their way through Barcelona for a parade following the route below:
- 11 am @ Santa Maria del Mar: Passeig del Born, Plaça de Santa Maria del Mar, C/ Argenteria, Via Laietana, Jaume I, Plaça Sant Jaume
- 11:30 am @ Avinguda de la Catedral: C/ dels Àngels, C/ Pintor Fortuny, La Rambla, Pla de la Boqueria, La Rambla, C/ Ferran arriving at Plaça Sant Jaume at 12.30 pm
Museu Marítim: Barcelona's museum of maritime history, will be open for free on February 13th and 14th the museum from 10 pm to 7:30 pm, with free visits to the Santa Eulàlia schooner (remember, the one that the Three Kings sail) at Port Vell from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm. And lucky you, if you are named after Eulàlia (also, Laia, Laie or Laiete), you get a free boat ride on the schooner! Free boat rides are from 9:30 am to 1 pm and must be booked in advance. Call +34 93 342 99 20.
Poble Espanyol: A living architectural museum that showcases the characteristics of different Spanish regions. As if all the building styles of Spain combined to make one town. The "village" is full of shops, cafes, restaurants, clubs, art galleries and studios and many children's activities. Children up to 12 years old have free admission to Poble Espanyol on Sunday February 14th.
Correfoc Dels Petits Diables: The correfoc route begins at C/Llibreteria (without fire) and follows C/Verguer, Baixada de Santa Clara, Comptes de Barcelona, Pla. de la Seu and arriving at Avenida de la Catedral ending at 7:45 pm. Here are some good pictures of "petits diables" on flickr by Electron and John R Kerr.:: Free Museum Admissions ::
The following museums will have free admission "portes obertes" to celebrate La Laia.
- Centre de Cultural Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB): February 14th from 11 am to 8 pm.
- DHUB Montcada & Pedrables: February 14th.
- Fundació Joan Miró: February 14th from 10 am to 2 pm.
- Museu d'Història de Barcelona (MUHBA): February 12th, 13th and 14th.
- Museu de les Arts Decoratives: February 14th.
- Museu de la Música de Barcelona L'Auditori: February 14th from 10 am to 8 pm.
- Museu Barbier-Muller d'Art Precolumbí: February 14th.
- Museu Ciències Naturrals de Barcelona - Edifici Zoologia: February 14th from 10 am to 8 pm.
- Museu Ciències Naturrals de Barcelona - Jardí Botànic: February 14th from 10 am to 6 pm.
- Museu d'Historia de Catalunya: February 14th.
- Museu de Tèxtil i d'Inumentària: February 14th.
- Museu Marítim: February 13th and 14th from 10 am to 7:30 pm.
- Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya: February 14th from 10 am to 2:30 pm.
- Museu Picasso: February 14th.
:: History of Santa Eulàlia ::
Eulàlia was a twelve or thirteen year old Christian matyr. Barcelona's Ajuntament provides a map with historical Eulàlia sites marked and described (try google translate as it is in Catalan). It is said that she refused to reject her Christianity and suffered torture and a horrible death by the Romans. Eulalia is buried in the Barcelona's Catedral.
:: More Information ::
- Official La Laia Site
- La Laia Event Information in English from Kids In Barcelona
- Museum Activities PDF
- Program Activities PDF
- Artist and Illustrator that designed the La Laia 2010 artwork: Sonja Wimmmer.