Event date: Thursday 3rd March 2016
Event time: starts at 8pm - 20:00
Parade route: From Carrer de San Salvador / Gran de Gràcia and ends Jardinets de Gracia
Sant Medir 2016 Barcelona. Sant Medir candy festival (also called the fiesta de San Emeterio) is an annual festival in March in the Vila de Gracia area of the Gracia district of Barcelona. See pictures of Festa de Sant Medir . The Sant Medir festival is fondly known in Catalan as "la festa més dolça" - "the sweetest festival" because of the 60 tons of sweets that are given away every year during the colourful Sant Medir procession with over 120 horses taking part. The Sant Medir parade in Barcelona takes place in the Gracia area of Barcelona.
Around 26 parade groups (called colles) gather on various streets in the "Vila de Gracia" area, which is the old part of Gracia, and then come together on the street Carrer de Sant Salvador to form a procession of horses, carts and lorries which then form a procession down the street called Gran de Gracia to finish at the "Jardinets de Gracia" - which means little Grácia gardens. The Jardinets de Gracia is the wide area between at the top end of Passeig de Grácia after Av Diagonal and before Gran de Gracia starts. The evening finishes with fireworks.
The local legend of the Festa de Sant Medir (Medín) or San Emeterio in Spanish, is of a farmer named Medir, who lived in Sant Cugat on the site of the present Sant Medir chapel - Ermita de Sant Medir - which is outside Barcelona in the Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola on the way to the town of Sant Cugat del Vallès. Medir lived in the 4th century AD during the reign of Roman Emperor Diocletian who carried out brutal persecutions of Christians. Fear of persecution made the Bishop Sever of Barcelona decide to flee the city. Bishop Sever then met the farmer (and future Saint Medir,) who was in the fields planting beans.
Severus told Medir, that he had accepted, that he would probably die for his faith, and told him not to lie, if the Romans asked Medir whether he had seen the bishop pass that way. The bishop went on his way. Soon after the Roman pursueing came by and they asked the farmer Medir, if he had seen the Bishop pass by. Medir answered truthfully that he had seen the Bishop pass by, as he was sowing beans in the field. As soon as Medir uttered these words the beans that he had just planted shot up as if by a miracle and were fully grown. The Romans believed that Medir was deceiving them in some way and arrested him. Soon after they caught the bishop too. Both were imprisoned and killed. And Medir became the patron saint of farmers, Saint Medir.
The modern day festival in Gracia in Barcelona started in 1830 when a baker called Josep Vidal i Granés, who lived in the newly opened street Gran de Gracia, fell very ill one year. He was originally from Sant Cugat del Vallès and he vowed that if God cured him, he would make a annual pilgrimage to the chapel of Sant Medir. God did cure him and the first pilgrimage from Gracia was made. To announce his pilgrimage he banged a drum and handed out sweets. This was very festive occasion and every year more and more friends and neighbours joined his pilgrimage. This eventually led to the establishment of the first "colla" of the Sant Medir festival. A "colla" is the Catalan name for a group or club. Today there are thirty "colles" who participate and organise the annual event in the assocation called "La Federació de Colles de Sant Medir" - Confederation of Sant Medir Colles. The confederation was formed in 1926.
Tip for the Festa de Sant Medir. Bring an umbrella! The forecast is often rain and if it's not raining you can turn the umbrella over and use it to catch sweets!
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