Barcelona Events 2023

Les Festes de Santa Eulàlia 2023

Fiesta de Santa Eulalia 2023 Barcelona

Festival date: Fri 10th to Sun 12th February 2023
Festival location: Various venues Barcelona

Santa Eulalia festival 2023 dates are Friday 10th to Sunday 12th 2023. PDF Program

'Les Festes de Santa Eulàlia' is Barcelona’s biggest annual festival for children and takes place in February. The festival of Santa Eulàlia is also known as 'La Laia' festival. 

Highlights include correfoc firerun and castellers human tower building. Also many museums are free on Sunday 12th 

Laia is the nickname for Eulalia. A 'giantess' called Laia is the star of the festival.

The main Santa Eulalia festival events take place every year on the days around 12th February, which is Santa Eulàlia's feast day.

On Santa Eulalia's day at 9.45 a.m. the flag 'Penó de Santa Eulàlia' (reproduction of ancient Barcelona penant flag) is raised on the balcony of City Hall on Plaça de Sant Jaume in the gothic area. This is followed by the festival opening speech called the 'pregó de Santa Eulàlia.'

The Santa Eulàlia festival programme features activities concerts, processions, open house events and other activities of all kinds, which are mostly for children. The festival takes place at many venues all over Barcelona.

You can enjoy typical Catalan traditions like parades with giants - gegants - and other fantasy figures - and you can see castellers human tower building, correfoc fire-runs among many other activities which include story-telling, puppets, family workshops, talks, concerts and more.

Music plays a very important part in the Santa Eulalia festival and throughout the festivities, music schools, choirs and children's orchestras perform around the city of Barcelona.

Highlights Festival Santa Eulàlia 

Diada Castellera
Human tower building day by castellers groups
Date: Sunday 12 February
Time: 11am
Location: Plaça de Sant Jaume

About Santa Eulàlia

Santa Eulàlia is patron of the cathedral and co-patron saint of the city of Barcelona. She is also patron saint of sailors and is invoked against miscarriages, drought, rain, and to protect mariners and ensure safe sailing.

The story of Barcelona's child virgin saint Saint Eulàlia (ca. 290-303) is a gruesome tale. Legend has it that she was a thirteen-year-old Christian girl, who lived in a farmhouse - called 'un mas' in Catalan - in what is now the modern day district of Sarria in the upper part of Barcelona. Back then this was in the countryside outside the medieval walled city of Barcelona.

Eulalia became a martyr in Barcelona during the persecution of Christians during the reign of Roman emperor Diocletian. She protested to the Roman governor Dacianus against the persecution of Christians, which resulted in her arrest and torture for refusing to recant her Christian faith.

The Romans subjected her to not just one form of torture, but thirteen different and gruesome tortures. The most infamous was putting her naked into a barrel with filled with glass and embedded knives and rolling it down sloping streets.
The streets where she was subjected to this torture are in Barcelona's gothic area. They are Carrer de Sant Sever and Baixada de Santa Eulalia which means 'Saint Eulalia's descent.'

Other cruel tortures that Eulalia was subjected to including cutting off her breasts, crucifying her on an X-shaped cross 'crux decussata' and other barbaric deeds until her decapitation.

It is said that when she lost her head, a dove flew out from her neck. Eulàlia is commemorated with many statues and street names throughout Barcelona and she represents justice, solidarity and youth. She is a co-patron saint of Barcelona city alongside the other patron saint 'la Mare de Déu de la Mercè' who is celebrated in September.

Eulalia died on 12th February in the year 303 and this date is now celebrated every year as Saint Eulàlia’s day. Eulalia's body was first interred in a church originally called 'Santa Maria de les Arenes' - St. Mary of the Sands. which was located on the present site of the gothic basilica Santa Maria del Mar - St. Mary of the Sea church in the Ribera/Born area of Barcelona.

Eulalia's remains were hidden in 713 during the Moorish invasion and only recovered again in 874.

On 23rd November 874 her remains were ordered to be moved to Barcelona's cathedral - Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia - by Bishop Frodoinus.

And in 1339 the remains were moved again this time into the crypt of Barcelona cathedral, where they have stayed to this day.

The crypt for Santa Eulàlia's remains was designed by 'maestro de obras' Jaime Fabre. Lupo di Francesco created the alabaster sarcophagus.

Legend has it that during the procession to move the bones of Santa Eulalia to their final resting place, an angel came down when the procession reached the Plaça de l'Àngel and confronted one of the clergymen, who confessed to having stolen a toe from the bones of Santa Eulalia.

In the area where Eulalia came from which at the time was outside the city of Barcelona, there were many geese on the fields.

This is why you can see a gaggle of thirteen white geese, one goose for each year of Eulalia's short life, in the cloister of Barcelona cathedral in the 'Well of the Geese' - 'Fuente de las Ocas.' 

Visit the official Santa Eulalia website (in Catalan and Spanish) for more information about Santa Eulalia events or visit your local Barcelona library, civic centre and market, where you can find information about activities during the Santa Eulalia festival in your area of Barcelona.

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Various locations

Various locations in Barcelona

This event takes place at various locations in Barcelona.

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Festes de Santa Eulàlia - Festival Santa Eulalia 2023
10.02.2023 - 12.02.2023
Barcelona Festivals

Thursday, 30 November 2023