29 Apr, 2024 @ 16:25
1 min read

IN PICS: Why were giant statues paraded through Barcelona at the weekend? Bizarre tradition dates back centuries

Thousands attended the marches

HUNDREDS of giant effigies were paraded through Barcelona’s famous streets over the weekend in a bizarre, wacky and unique Catalunyan tradition that dates back 600 years.

On Sunday, thousands of locals and inquisitive tourists lined the Passeig de Lluis Companys, the boulevard that links the iconic Arc de Triomf to Parc de la Ciutadella, for an action-packed afternoon of cultural celebration.

READ MORE: What is Dia de Sant Jordi? How the Catalunya region in Spain will celebrate its patron saint this week – from traditional gifts to street parties

Thousands watch on as the giants congregate on Passeig de Lluis Companys, named after the former President of Catalunya. Copyright: Olive Press

The event is called the National Meeting of Gegantes – also known as giants – and has taken place in the north-eastern corner of Spain for over six centuries.

On April 28, over 230 giants amassed together to celebrate 600 years since the first written reference of giants in Barcelona.

Locals of all ages joined in with the festivities. Copyright: Olive Press

Four parades started from different points within the city – Parc de la Ciutadella, Placa d’Urquinaona, El Born and Parc de l’Estacio de Nord – before uniting on Passeig de Lluis Companys.

Each giant was led along by a group from a different part of Catalunya, with members taking it in turns to carry the structures on their shoulders.

Four different parades started from different iconic spots across the city. Copyright: Olive Press

At the meeting point, the giants were greeted by a fanfare thanks to a band on stage, an MC, and thousands of people watching on with intrigue and fascination.

The giants then participated in a communal dance to round off the festivities. 

Grey weather failed to spoil the buoyant mood. Copyright: Olive Press

Sunday’s celebration came just five days after Dia de Sant Jordi, one of the most important dates in the Catalan calendar, which saw hundreds of thousands of locals hit the city’s famous streets in search of books and roses, traditionally gifted to loved ones every year.

Among the giants was a depiction of St George, or Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalunya

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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