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Vilafranca del Penedès Festival

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Photo: Vinals
The Festival of Vilafranca del Penedès is one of the most spectacular festive events in Catalonia, declared a Heritage festival of national interest. It is celebrated every year from August 29 to September 2, in honor of Saint Felix of Rome, the patron saint of the town. The festival has kept intact its structure that includes religious acts interspersed with popular traditions and shows. But the key element is the people who participate in all the events as actors or spectators, filling the streets and squares with good atmosphere. The rich folkloric heritage constituted by a great number of dances, the music and the human towers tradition, complete the agenda of the most typical festival of Catalonia.

Formerly the Vilafranca Festival was celebrated on August 15, in honor of Virgin Mary. The arrival of the relics of Saint Felix, a Roman martyr, in the town in 1699 coincided with the end of a long drought. The popularity of the saint has been growing until being designated in the year 1776 as one of the patron saints of Vilafranca.

From August 22, during nine days, in the Basilica of St Mary. takes place the Ninth and the Song of the Goigs (of the joys), interpreted by a local group. On the 28th of August, the inhabitants of Vilafranca attend the Jaume I Square at the proclamation that announces the beginning of the feast.
On August 29 at 12 am, starts at the Rambla de Sant Francesc the act that gives the official beginning of the festival, the tronada (thunder). Next comes the first parade, a cortege formed by 21 folkloric groups, until the Town Hall Square where the first exhibition of human toweers takes place. In the afternoon the street shows begin and at 8pm begins the first procession of the Saint. At around 12 o'clock in the evening an extraordinary fireworks castle is fired, continued by the night shows.
On August 30, feast of St. Felix, comes the highlight of the festivity. In the morning,in the Basilica takes place the solemn mass. Then all the people go to the Town Hall Square to attend the Diada Castellera de Sant Félix, where the four best Catalan castellers groups compete to build the highest human tower. In the afternoon there is the traditional procession of San Felix that ends at the Basilica of Saint Mary, where takes place the entrance of the statue of the patron saint of Vilafranca, a very exciting moment accompanied by music and fireworks.
At 10 o'clock on the morning of August 31 a Mass is celebrated. Once finished, people return to Plaça de la Vila (Town Hall Square), where the folkloric exhibition begins. In the afternoon the last procession leaves, from the basilica to the house of one of the organizers of the festival, where another fireworks castle will be fired accompanied by the performance of all the dance groups.
On September 1st, we highlight the Children's Festivals and the Dance of Fire (Ball de Foc), a great show in which the fireruns take the streets of Vilafranca.
On September 2, the closing dance and a large fireworks display at midnight mark the final of the Festa Major.

Tourist Office
Address: 2 Carrer Hermenegild Clascar - Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona) 08720
Tel.: +34 938 181 254
GPS: 41°20'46.0"N 1°41'46.9"E / 41.346115, 1.696351
Public transport
By train
The train station connects the town with Barcelona and Tarragona, through the R4 line of Rodalies Renfe (Sant Vicenç de Calders - Martorell - Barcelona - Manresa).
By bus
Bus station. The companies Autocars Plana and Hispano Igualadina offer transport services between Vilafranca and Barcelona, Campo de Tarragona, Igualada, Costa del Garraf, or the towns of the Alt Penedès and Anoia regions.