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Night of the Diables in Tarragona

Night of the Diables in Tarragona

One of the most celebrated festive acts in Catalonia, the Ball de Diables (Dance of the Devils), has been consolidated in to an official entity which will preserve the traditional aspect of this event.
Sant Agapito Bis

Sant Agapito Bis

Sant Agapito Bis is a grassroots initiative which has injected new life into a neglected area of the old city, making Carrer del Compte (now known as Pilon’s Street) one of the most photographed streets in Tarragona.

Cavalcada de Reis

Cavalcada de Reis

Forget Christmas , what really matters here in Tarragona is Epiphany and  the arrival of the three kings.

Concurs de Castells 2014

Concurs de Castells 2014

Every two years one of the most extraordinary competitions in the world is held here in Tarragona: the Concurs de Castells, the Human Tower competition.

The night of Sant Joan, Tarragona

Tarragona, Night of Sant Joan

The night of Sant Joan in Tarragona is a terrifying cacophony of petards, fireworks and flares celebrating the shortest night of the year.

Tarragona, Els Tres Tombs 2014

Els Tres Tombs, Tarragona

The Rambla Nova of Tarragona was the stage of the annual arrival of horses and traditional carts for what is known as Els Tres Tombs, an ancient  ritual dedicated to Sant Anthony Abat. It consists in doing three lapses around a designated area and takes place in many Catalans towns and cities.

Salou – Cós Blanc 2014


Salou, the hedonistic capital of Catalonia and the Costa Dorada, comes back in to life for a brief day in winter before falling asleep again till early spring. This  is formally known for its Cós Blanc (white things), its epicentre a gigantic parade of floats, 20 tonnes of confetti , gyroscopic light effects and thirty thousand people attending.

Parades and Human Castels at the Festes de Sant Roc


The religious festival of Sant Roc commemorates the patron of Cós del Bou, a small street, adjacent to the large square of Plaça de la Font, once one of the main hubs of old Tarragona.

The Night of Sant Joan


The night of San Joan begins with the arrival of the flame carried by runners from the highest peak in Catalonia to  the Serrallo in Tarragona. The flame lights a giant bonfire around which the Diables Voramar, these dark figures which originate from  the Medieval street theater, dance with the Vibria unleashing a cacophony of flares.

Night of Sant Joan 2013 Programme


The most anticipated night of the Tarragona calendar, the night of Sant Joan, celebrating the Summer Solstice will take place this Saturday.  If you live here, or passing by, watch out for the petards; they have already started, crackling,  exploding away around every corner and every street as a prelude to the  big bang of Sant Joan.

Parading the puppets for Summer Solstice

revetlla dels ninots

The “Revetlla dels Ninots” is a loud midnight street party held in Tarragona one week before the Summer Solstice celebration of Sant Joan.  Among the great fanfare revelers  parade the allegoric puppets ( ninots ) which will be burned on the bonfire in seven days time.

The Dancing Egg of Corpus Christi


Visit the cloister of the cathedral in Tarragona on the day of Corpus Christi and you will notice something usual: jumping up and down among the sprays of water of the centrail fountain is a dancing egg, one the most cherished features of this celebration.

Books and roses on the day of San Jordi


La diada di San Jordi, day of Sant George, is one of the most loved yearly event in Tarragona where people, books and roses mix happily along the Rambla.  Although not a public holiday, everyone seems to find time for a stroll and, before midday, the venue is packed with people.

Els Tres Tombs 2013


On a seriously wet Sunday morning  Els Tres Tombs, the traditional procession celebrating San Anthony, patron of all animals, took place along the Rambla, watched by an umbrella holding audience.

The year ends with the Homes dels Nassos


In true local tradition the Homes dels Nassos, the ‘Man of Noses’, a mythological Catalan character,  makes his appearance at 12 o’clock on the last day of the year ready to take the old year away.

Celebrating Sant Roc in Tarragona

Sant Roc procession in Tarragona

Sant Roc is a local festival celebrated at the heart in the Carrer de Cos de Bou, located in the Part Alta of Tarragona.

Human Towers at Sant Roc

One of the great privileges of living in Tarragona, is to watch the Collas build castells “human towers”, this spectacular feat of balance, strength and human engineering which is unique to Catalonia.  From atop a balcony it looks like the inverse making of a flower, it’s petals embedded in the ground and the stem raising up in to the sky.

Gearing up for the Festes de Sant Roc

Festes de Sant Roc 2012

As a prelude to the festival of Sant Magi we have  Sant Roc and you can tell something is afoot by the share number of Tarragona flags spun across opposite balconies of the narrow streets of the Part Alta.

Cercavila de Foc -the Ball of Fire

As part of what is officially known as Fiesta de Sant Joan, the Cercavila de Foc (the Ball of Fire) is a astonishing event that takes place every year at the weekend of Summer Solstice. It follows from the lighting of the beacon, the Rebuda de Foc, at the Serrallo at sunset celebrating the arrival of Summer which sets  the central team of the battle of darkness and light.

Rebuda del Foc at the Serrallo

Every year, on June 22, a group of hikers will  ascend  the Canigó in Catalonia; there a symbolic flame  is lit and taken down in to the valleys to every village and town for the lighting bonfires on the night of Sant Juan, Summer Solstice.

12th International Festival of Music in Tarragona

The 12th edition of the International Festival of Music in Tarragona will start on the 30th of June and run until the 7th of July.  Taking part are some of the best musicians from Spain and Europe like Rivka Golani, Kai Gleusteen, Thomas Martin, Will Sanders and Vicens Prats  which will be holding music workshops for guitar, flute, horn, cello and double bass.

The popular courses are priced at 175 Euros  per person and you can find the full details and how to enrol at the festivals website

The festival also offer a series of free concerts that will take place at the Auditori de la Fundació Caixa Tarragona  (see map, dates and times below).

Corpus Christi procession in Tarragona

This quintessential festivity, celebrated the Catholic world over,  is given an unusual twist in Tarragona; since the fourteenth century a procession, which includes giant statues, takes place along its medieval streets. Amongst these statues are ‘el negrito’ and ‘la negrita’,  two figures depicting a black man and a black woman holding a parrot, reinstated in the 1850’s  after a mention was discovered describing their inclusion in the processions held in the middle ages. These ancient figures are permanently exhibited  at the house of festival in Tarragona.

Tarragona XIV Wine Fair

The Fira de Vin in Tarragona, now in its fourteen’s edition, is in full swing on the Rambla which presently looks like a big party venue. This in not some stuffy nose in the glass event but a full on celebration of the fantastic wines this region has to offer.

Tasting Peix Blau 2012

Follow up to previous post: just when you thought life could slow down a bit with the final day of Tarraco Viva over, in comes Peix Blau 2012, another gastronomic event made in Tarragona.

To give a teaser, the organisers have set up tapas hot spots  in Placa del Rey (Part Alta), central Tarragona and the Serrallo, each serving three signature tapas based on the fabled peix blau, a unique type of sardine only found in these waters. Sadly this is only a four hours event and if you want more you’ll have to wait for the start of Peix Blau 2012 next month.

La Ruta del Peix Blau

STOP PRESS! This Sunday grab your self a tasty treat with la Ruta del Peix Blau taking place in various parts of the city in order to promote the Peix Blau which  is a type of sardine unique to these waters.

Organised by Tarragona Gastronòmica, the event will take place between 11am and 3pm at Plaça del Rei, near the railing of the circus Circus, at no. 20 the Rambla Nova, at Plaça de Sant Magí and the Serrallo district.

For 2.50 Euros you get a superlative tapas and a free cold beer!

International day of Ballet at the Balcó del Mediterrani

Tarragona has a way of drawing indelible pictures on your heart. Sometime they comes from nowhere,  like a face in a window which then withdraws and disappears behind the curtains.  Other times it’s an euphoric impromptu, like 200 student ballerinas doing a coordinated open air exercise, using the railing of  he Balcó del Mediterrani as a dancing implement.

Books and roses for Sant Jordi

Today, 23rd of April, is Sant Jordi, also known here as ‘the day of Books’ or ‘the day of Roses’ and the thing to do is to give a book to your man and a rose to your favourite girl (needless to say, a lot of girls buy their own rose to get in to the spirit of things).

dTapes – Tapas Festival in Tarragona, round #1

dTapes, the fourth edition of this brilliant local gastronomic initiative,  got in to full swing last Thursday evening with 42 mini creations on offer.
We have already munched our way though 9 different establishments but there is still a bit to go so we are going to reserve our final verdict on the best tapa for the end of next week.

Els Tres Tombs

This ancient festival is celebrated in Catalonia to commemorate Saint Anthony, patron of all animals big and small.  Here in Tarragona, around 400 horse riders and traditional working carts, encircled the Rambla this Sunday, in a parade headed by the statue of the saint.

Ball de Diables de Tarragona

Sometimes you see things in life that will stay with you for ever.  Last night it was one of them. The Carnaval ball de Diables in Tarragona is an archaic  tradition which stems from religious and political origins.

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