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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Feast of Saint Eulalia

Façana de l'església de Santa Maria del Mar. B...Image via WikipediaBy Harriet Freeman

This party is also known as the Parades of the Giants.
The feast of Saint Eullia or "Las fiestas de Santa Eullia" is the biggest annual festival for children in Barcelona. The festival is held in the days around February the 12th. February the 12th is a special day, namely Santa Eullia's day. Over 100 activities are being organized for children during this festival. Typical for this festival is the Catalan parade of giants or "gegants".
In this festival music plays an important role. There are several performances of music schools, choirs and children orchestras. Also every year a photography competition for children is held, called "Foto Laia".

There is a gruel legend about a child virging saint called Eullia. The legend tells that Eullia was a 13 year old girl who lived in a farmhouse called "un mas". This farmhouse was located in what is now called the district of Sarria. At that time this farmhouse was located outside of the city of Barcelona in the countryside. The girl became a martyr in Barcelona during the persecution of Christians in the reign of the emperor Diocletian for protesting against the persecution of Christians to the Roman consul. She got tortured for refusing to recant her Christian faith. The Romans subjected here to thirteen different and gruel tortures. For instance one of the tortures was that she was put in a barrel full of glass and knives. The Romans rolled the barrel down from a sloping street. This street is called after Eullia and can be visited in the Gothic area.
Other tortures Eullia was subjected to was crucifying here on a cross, cutting off her breasts and other cruelties. The last and final torture was decapitation. She died on February the 12th 303. Eullia is commemorated with many statues and street names.
The body of Eulalia was buried in the Santa Maria de les Arenes church. The church of Santa Maria del Mar replaced this church. You can find this church in the Born area of Barcelona. During the Moorish invasion in 713 her body was kept hidden. At the beginning of the 14th century her body was moved to the crypt of the Santa Eullia church. Later they were moved to the crypt of the Cathedral in Barcelona where they remain to this day and you can see the remains in the crypt.
For every year of her live there's a goose in the Cathedral because also on the farmhouse were geese. Visit Barcelona and rent a cheap apartment in Barcelona on this Web site.
Harriet Freeman,
Tourist specialist and general interest in Barcelona, Spain. Have a look at the website of Barcelona apartments for more information about Barcelona.

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