The enchanting exclamation point to the middle of summer in Barcelona is a festival that the Catalan-speaking locals call Festes de Sant Roc, an enduring tribute to the man others know as Saint Roch – the protector against fire, plague, dogs, falsely accused people, bachelors and epidemics.
This venerated homage, which begins on August 16 during the Gracia’s annual Festa Major celebration, is held in the local chapel, the Church of Santa Eulalia del Camp, and the surrounding Placa Nova.
The festival includes many time-honored traditions and, now entering its 428th year, is one of the oldest of its kind. It is an event cherished by all, as the reverence shown to Saint Roch today is as heartfelt and passionate as it was at the first Festes de Sant Roc.
Along with Saint Sebastian and Saint Christopher, the French-born Saint Roch is a co-patron saint of the city of Placa Nova. He drew wide acclaim and renown for working miraculous cures in the early- 14th Century battle against the plague.
During this unforgettable festival it is inspiring to experience there being no distinctions between gender, age, title, origin, race or education background. Students, physicians, clergy, lawyers, families, mothers and the elderly
all came together to spend an energetic week of joyful celebration and games.
The result was pure, high-vibration gratitude for the memory of a great man, and the treasured memories of a week very well spent.
Let the camera tell the story, as the images brings to life the spontaneous laughter, the smiles and the shared exhilaration.
Among the many traditional elements of the festival captured in the photography reportage are those of:
•Ball des Gegants de sant Roc de la Placa Nova
•Ball de Pastores de Sitges
•Ball de Gitanes de Mataro’
•Celebracio’ dels tabalers with percussionists group (Kabum, Kukumku’, Percudium)
•El Correfoc with the Barri Gotic’s Devil
•Castel dell Focs during the last night of the festival
For all of these indelible memories I am eternally grateful, and to the people of Barcelona … moltes gracies.
Ball des Gegants de sant Roc de la Placa Nova
Ball de Pastores de Sitges
Ball de Gitanes de Mataro’
Celebracio’ dels tabalers with percussionists group
Here the Briefing before the performance by Kabum
El Correfoc with the Barri Gotic’s Devil
Castel dell Focs during the last night of the festival
During this kind of Festival it’s lovely to see that there are no difference between gender, origins, race, education level… I saw students working with Doctors, Lawyers, mothers and sons, elder people, all together spending time and effort to create another unforgettable week of Celebration and Game, having back something with no tangible but incredible value: people’s gratitude.
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