Corpus Christi in Catalonia

Discover peculiarities holiday Corpus Christi Catalonia
guide celebrations Corpus Christi Catalonia holidays religious tourism
Preparation of flower carpets in Sitges. Photo: Mike McBey
The Corpus Christi festival is one of the three most important Catholic feasts of the year, along with Christmas and Easter. The Corpus Christi, or the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, is celebrated on Thursday or the Sunday following the Sunday of the Holy Trinity, 60 days after Easter Sunday. Born in the Middle Ages to pay public tribute to the sacrament of the Eucharist, the feast has lost part of the religious character to become a social and festive event, with a more lyrical character.

The flowers, and especially the carnations, are the exceptional protagonist of the celebrations. The procession of Corpus and the festive entourage pass over long carpets of flowers, real works of art effusively prepared with much anticipation, or underneath the arbors that adorn the streets.

The most spectacular carpets of flowers made by the neighbors during the Corpus Christi festival can be seen in Sitges (Garraf) and La Garriga (Valles Oriental). The traditional festivities of the ornaments in ArbĂșcies (Selva) and Sallent (Bages) attract also many tourists.
In Barcelona, the popular procession of Corpus Christi is divided into two parts: the religious procession, organized by the Cathedral chapter, and the festive procession, organized by the City Council. After the solemn mass celebrated in the Cathedral Square, the two processions meet and parade through several streets of the Gothic Quarter. The festive program also includes dances of sardanas and the traditional custom of "L'ou com balla" (The dancing egg) that consists in placing an empty egg over the water jet from several fountains located in cloisters, courtyards or gardens.