In celebration of one of Catalunya’s most revered saints, Barcelona dedicates not one, but two weekends to this 17th-century saint, whose saint’s day falls on March 23rd. Sant Josep Oriol is held close to the hearts of many for his work with the poor and sick in the neighbourhood of Pi, Ciutat Vella, and this festival marks the festa major of the ancient barrio.
The two weekends feature various dance and festive celebrations as well as parades throughout various locations in town. The celebrations kicks off on Saturday 12th, when the parade will begin ay Plaça del Pi at 11am and will pass through Carrer del Cardenal Casañas, La Boquería, Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, Carrer del Pi and returning full circle back to Plaça del Pi. Giant wooden models of the saint and his associates will parade through the streets.
On March 12th at 5.00pm, there will also be the traditional Catalan performance of Castellers de Cerdanyola del Vallès at Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, which involves human pyramids and towers, incorporating acrobatic skill with dance and theatre.
On March 20th, the neighbourhood will wake up to an early morning musical treat from drummers and dolçainers (Catalan wind instrument-players) who will fill the streets in preparation for the day’s main event: the grand parade that starts at 10.30am at Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol and works its way across various places including La Rambla and Plaça Sant Jaume.
During the evenings, there will be special services at the Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi, where Sant Josep Oriol’s body is buried.
For more information, including the full timetable and weekend schedules, please see here.