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The Sitges Festival. Tradition, culture and entertainment

It will come as no surprise to you that July and August are the two months of the year that Spain registers the highest amount of international visitors. The climate, the beaches (or mountains), the gastronomy, the broad frenetic nightlife that´s open to all tastes are just some of the reasons that attract tourists to this country. Also, it coincides that this season comes full of local activities and parties for all those who want to get to know the culture and traditions of the Iberian Peninsula.


Catalonia is one of the Spanish regions where, according to the website of the Generalitat, the Catalan government, “there´s practically no town (Catalan) -no matter how small- that doesn´t dedicate a few days to celebrate its festival”. And it´s exactly a Catalan festival that I´m going to talk about today: the Sitges Festival. It´s one of the events that´s worth enjoying if you´re in Catalonia during the month of August.

The Sitges Festival represents one of the most important events in this seaside town. It´s an event that gathers a large part of its population in the main squares in the old town, which also appeals to a large amount of visitors every year, increasing its notoriety further than the local limits. In fact, it´s a traditional party of declared national interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya (the Catalan government), and this says a lot about what it´s about today in terms of culture in the region.

From the 21st until the 27th of August, the streets of this beautiful little town located some 22 miles from Barcelona will dress up to celebrate the city´s patron saint, St Bartholomew (Sant Bartomeu in Catalan). It´s a huge celebration with a packed programme of events that includes religious, cultural and ludic activities. Just like every year, there´ll be spectacular fireworks, as well as local dancing, the sardana, or the human castles, the incredibly strong and athletic castellers.

Although the event programme has not yet been confirmed, what is known up to now tells us that they will be a few days of not stopping for a second:

21st of August – 10.30pm: official opening at the Parc de Can Bota

22nd of August – 6.30pm: giants and capgrossos dressing (folkloric paper-mache figures)

23rd of August:

– 2pm: Sardanes (in town centre)
– 2.15pm: Parade (from the Town Square)
– 5.45pm: Castellers (Town centre) 
– 6.45pm: Religious procession (from the town centre) 
– 8pm: Sardanes (in town centre) 
– 11pm: Firework display (on the beach)

24th of August:

– 6am: Morning music parade
– 7.30pm: Religious procession of St Bartholomew

27th of August – 10.30pm: Closing ceremony (San Sebastià beach)

Anyhow, if you´re in Barcelona by then, don´t let the small distance from Sitges put you off going to its festival. As I said, it´s only 22 miles, just half an hour on the train from Barcelona, hardly anything. And those of you who aren´t in Catalonia but are in Spain during this period of time, should definitely consider going. The trip will be long, that´s for sure, but the effort that you´ll have made to arrive, will have its just reward. 

Enjoy a summer filled with tradition and culture. Find accommodation in Barcelona and, while you´re at it, arrange a trip to Sitges to celebrate and enjoy its festival.