La Merce: A unique ‘human tower’ festival in the autumn in Spain

Referring to Spain, first draw up images of Spain’s Human Tower Festival, also known as La Merce. In Europe, this is regarded as a distinctive and exceptional fall event. Today, La Merce attracts many tourists to admire its beautiful and pleasing towers.

The La Merce festival, referred to as the Human Tower Festival, is annually held in Spain around the end of September. Everyone gathered in Sant Jaume plaza, which was ringed by crowds of towers and thousands of spectators. Various “stronghold-building” squads compete to create the strongest human towers.

A unique humane festival inherited from meaningful traditions

Photo: Rad Season

The event initially appeared to honor the saint who guarded the city, saving many lives during the 17th-century plague in Europe. Since 1871, this day has been observed as a public holiday in Barcelona. The first time that a special activities program was organized by the municipal government was in 1871. These events and activities were held to commemorate the feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, or La Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Catalan. Every year, September 24 is the real feast day. But the celebrations begin a few days prior. This custom is still being passed on. Several acrobats have been competing to construct the highest, most magnificent citadels. This custom has been kept alive over time and has drawn both amateur and professional acrobats to join.

The La Merce festival is regarded as a distinctive and intriguing street celebration that gathers millions of visitors each year. Performers, both professional and amateur, frequently take part in the tower block competition to see whose tower is the highest and most attractive. 

Everybody congregated in Sant Jaume plaza, which was encircled by thousands of spectators. Virtuosity and solidity are needed to construct a sturdy tower. This calls for “human material” that is in good health, courageous, inventive, collaborative, and assigned to tasks that are realistic under the direction of the “general engineer”. To be able to construct a high structure, tower builders must do precise calculations with great care. The swift people usually rank on the top floor, while the muscular and chubby members typically stand on the lower. To reach the tower’s summit must be performed by the lightest member, who must also wave to the crowd as it finishes.

Beyond several exceptional performances, the La Merce Tower Festival is seen as a chance to promote a sense of unity among the population. Rarely does an event in the entire world need the involvement of so many individuals. Humanistic colors are infused into every castle that is erected. People come together to attend the bustling festival.

Photo: Gay Travel 4U

Events related to the La Merce Festival are many over the holiday days. Some of them have a rich history. For instance, papier-mâché giants first appeared in 1902, more than a century ago. They are currently one of the festival’s most significant unique features in the Catalan capital. Another attraction of the event is the parade that is conducted each year in honor of La Merce. Additionally, they perform the Empordà dance from Catalonia. This is called Sardana which has gained enormous popularity in Catalonia and elsewhere. However, there are still other things you can do and see while in Barcelona for the La Merce Festival.

Other activities in Barcelona besides the Human Tower Festival in the fall

At the La Merce festival, in addition to the unusual custom of building human towers, we may see Barcelona residents dress as devils and parade through the city. During the event, there will be a human tower construction competition, stunning and distinctive fireworks displays, spontaneous street dances by indigenous people, or the chance to sample the best of Spanish food. This festival is considered by the local government as one of the potential cultural autumn events, attracting the participation of tourists from all over.

Visitors also have a chance to take a look at Barcelona in the midst of attending the festival where human towers are built. After the capital Madrid, Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain and was founded in the third century BC. Everyone can achieve satisfaction in Barcelona, whether they are looking for excitement or tranquility. 

Visitors may see well-known historical landmarks such as the Casa Mila building, the Barri Gothic Quarter, or the Sagrada Familia, the most unusual church in all of Europe with designs influenced by odd themes like bones and fruits. It also dubs as a reminder of the world’s most well-known football team, “Barcelona,” to people who are passionate about the game. Anyone enthusiastic about football has seen this team’s accomplishments and stunning goals. Thus, there is no need to debate its renowned reputation.

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