Catalan Culture for Free: Guest Post on for the Barcelona Metropolitan

Castellers at La Festa Catalana in front of Barcelona’s
Cathedral- Jesus Sancho

Go ahead; gorge on Catalan culture for free. From now until September 15th, savor a Saturday celebration of all things Catalan complete with sardanes, castellers and gigants in front of Barcelona’s Cathedral—free of charge.

The sun beats down on my head, and my makeup drips down my face. Sweat clusters in droplets around my oversized sunglasses. But watching the castellers shimmy up each other like trees, climbing towards the sky despite the oppressive humidity, I can’t complain.
Circles stacked on circles comprised of Catalans outfitted in blue shirts and white trousers, their red sashes tied over wide black belts would likely be as much of a success at American Fourth of July festivities as they are during La Diada and La Mercè in Barcelona…..
As I reflect on holidays where I’m from and where I live, progressively smaller people clamber up the human castle to the shrill and slightly unpleasant whistle of the gralla, a traditional wooden flute. Finally, a tiny girl wearing a helmet, the enxaneta, reaches the top and briefly raises an arm in the air. The child wobbles, then begins the long climb down, and the collective sigh of relief among her fellow castellers and the general public is almost palpable

Copyright 2010-2012 Chris Ciolli. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce texts or images without written consent. First published in the Tipton Times unless otherwise noted.

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