On the 24th of September, Barcelona will once again celebrate its most beloved patron saint, la Mercè. There's not a Catalan, tourist or foreigner, who doesn't enjoy this open air festival, which according to the Mayor of the city, "consists of the best expressions of Barcelonian and Catalan traditions."

Each year, the festival fills the city with examples of iconic culture: castles (human towers), giants, correfocs (literally running with fire), sardanas (traditional Catalan dances), tambourines...and of course a program of performing street artists. There are also dances, circus acts, traveling shows with lights and the most original technologies.  

The music is also one of the main crowd-pleasers, with the independent Music Festival BAM offering up over 60 concerts. Its truly an incredible program with over 600 activities and 2,000 artists and performing professionals in total. 

For the photographers among us, there is added incentive! The festival organizers have launched an interesting photo contest where you can enter to win prizes of 130 to 950 euros! How do you participate? Submit up to three photos that represent the essence of the festival to the official website, and cross your fingers they pick one of your pics!

It's no surprise that la Mercè has its own app dedicated to keeping us up-to-date on the events. For those who want to live the festival 100%, use your smart phone and navigate to the Apple Store or Google Play and take la Mercè with you.

We'll give you a tip: Don't leave the party without trying some of the unforgettable catalan food that you can find in the numerous restaurants, markets and bars around the city! Also, don't forget a stroll down some of the Antoni Gaudí -inspired streets and popular plazas...you are guaranteed a few surprises along the way!

Enjoy the party and send us your stories! We'd love to share :)