The modern-day version of this sweet festival started in 1830, when a Gràcia baker, Josep Vidal i Granés, fell desperately ill. He vowed that if God cured him, he would make an annual pilgrimage to the Chapel of Sant Medir, located in his hometown of Sant Cugat del Vallès. Once healthy, he announced his first pilgrimage by banging a drum and handing out sweets. Every year, more and more friends and neighbours joined in this festive occasion, forming the first “colla”—the Catalan name for a group or club—of the Sant Medir festival. Today, there are nearly 30 “colles” that participate in a procession of horses, carts and lorries through various streets of Gràcia. It’s quite an affair. Bring an umbrella, because whether or not there’s a chance of rain, you can turn it over and use it to catch the candy showering down on the crowd.
The party takes place from San Salvador to els Jardinets de Gràcia.