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Patum de Berga Festival

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Dance of the Maces. Photographer: José Juan 'Potti' Luna
La Patum is the best known festival in the city of Berga, a surprising and enigmatic fiesta unique in Catalonia. It is a popular representation with religious character that preserves its pagan origins and profane rituals. Is celebrated during five days of the week of Corpus Christi, between the end of May and the end of June. The mixture of people, fire, music and dance, the persistence of medieval street theater and ritual components distinguish it from the other festivals in the region.

Its origins date back to the second half of the 14th century, when religious processions of the Corpus have become festive representations. The old name of the holiday was La Bulla or Bullicio (Bustle) of the Holy Sacrament, replaced by the present name at the end of the 19th century. The word Patum evokes the sound of the great drum typical used in the festival, the Tabal.
In 2005 the festival of La Patum de Berga has been selected as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

La Patum starts on Wednesday, the eve of the Corpus, when the Tabal and the street parades walk through the city and announce the beginning of the festivities.Thursday morning, Corpus day, begins with another parade followed by attendance at High Mass in the parish church of Santa Eulalia. On the exit, the first Patum, called the Lucimiento Patum, is celebrated at about twelve o'clock in the afternoon. It is a solemn performance where the spectators contemplate the evolutions of the groups of the Turks and Hobby Horses, the Battle between Angels and Demons, the Mules, the Eagle, the Big-Heads (the Nens) and the Giants, finished with the dance of the Tirabol. At night, the Patum Completa is celebrated, formed by the same performances plus the "Plens", the culminating moment of the party, an infernal orgy in which a hundred devils jump and throw fire in the crowded Sant Pere Square.
On Friday takes place the Children's Patum. Saturday is a day of parades and sardanas. On Sunday, the same performances are repeated as on Thursday.

Casa de la Patum (House of the Patum)
6 Plaça del Doctor Saló
Berga (Barcelona) 08600
Tel.: +34 938 211 384
42°06'15.9"N 1°50'47.2"E | GPS: 42.104407, 1.846451