This week, Barcelona children will be celebrating Sant Medir, the patron saint of fava (broad) beans. Wipe out of your mind those images of children eating bowls full of delicious fava beans. Forget about families gathering to eat meals of favas cooked in different ways. Rather, Sant Medir is honored by a parade with candies tossed to parade watchers along the route.Well, I'd like to believe that families do gather and eat fava beans on March 3rd (Saint Medir day) in addition to parade watching and candy grabbing. And based on my grocery store visits, I have seen lots of favas in stock. Hmmm... perhaps a Catalan expert will let us know. In the meantime, if you prefer to celebrate Sant Medir with the candy representation of a fava bean here is the information you will need.
:: Sant Medir Parades ::
Although originally the pilgrim's route to the Hermitage de Sant Medir in Parc de Collersola went through Gràcia, the celebration spread to other neighborhoods as well. Sants-Monjuic and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi also host Sant Medir parades. Horse-drawn carriages and colorful floats will throw out candies along the routes. Curious about the upside-down umbrellas in the poster image above? Well, it is to catch candies of course. From the pictures I have seen people really do this!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
- Gràcia: Parade begins at 8 pm at Carrer Sant Salvador following through Nil Fabra and Gran de Gràcia and finishing at Pla de Salmeron.
- Sarrià-Sant Gervasi: Parade begins at 6:30 pm and ends at 9 pm. The route starts at Desert de Sarrià and ends at Desert de Sarrià, running through Santa Eulàlia, Major de Sarrià, Reina Elisenda de Montcada, Clos de Sant Francesc, Pedró de la Creu, Bonaplata, Fontcoberta, Passatge Senillosa, Plaça Artós, Sant Joan Bosco, Manuel de Falla, Benet i Mateu, Plaça Artós, Major de Sarrià and finishing at Consell de la Vila.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
- Sants-Montjuic: Parade begins at 10:30 am at Mossèn Amadeu Oller following along Gavà, Alpens, Guadiana, Sants, Gayarre, Gavà, Constitució, Toledo, Manzanares, Andalusia, Riera de Tena, Constitució ending at Viladecans and Corral.
Photo: Federacio De Colles De Sant Medir
:: History of Sant Medir ::
Photo: Gepardenforellenfischer wikicommons
The story goes that around 290 AD a man named Emeterius (later to be called Sant Medir) was planting fava beans when the bishop of Barcelona, Severus, fled Barcelona for Castrum Octavianum (what is now Sant Cugat) for fear of persecution. The bishop asked Emeterius to tell the Roman soldiers on the hunt that he passed along the route. When the soldiers arrived Ermeterius said as instructed. While the soldiers were questioning him in the fields, a miracle of rapid fava bean growth occurred (whether it was while the soldiers were in the fields or right before appearing, it is unknown). You can read more about the bean miracle here. The soldiers did not believe him, arrested him and later killed him.
So, how did a matryed fava planter become honored with a parade known for tossing sweets? The parade route through Gràcia was once the route of a pilgrim baker. In 1830, the baker promised Sant Medir to make a pilgrimage to Sant Medir's hermitage on March 3rd every year if the Saint cured him of his illness. When the baker was cured he made the pilgrimage handing out sweets along the way.
:: More Information ::
- Official Sant Medir Website
- Kids in Barcelona: Garcia Information, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Sants Montjuic Information