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Festa San Medir 2009 in Gracia

4 March, 2009 (17:19) | Living in Europe | By: admin

This is a video Mark threw together from yesterday’s San Medir celebrations

One of the perks to living in my neighborhood (Gracia) is that we have our *own* holidays and festivals which are celebrated nowhere else in Barcelona. Today is case in point. Every year, on March 3, all of Gracia celebrates San Medir. It is a day of nonstop fun which seems to cater to little kids and to old people who have lived in this neighborhood since they were kids themselves, who delight in the tradition. I must look into why this festival is only celebrated in my small barrio of Gracia (less than 2 km in size)

Candy being hurled at me as I shoot this photo.

Horses, carriages, parades – all of them throwing candy at us. The first thing one hears, early in the morning is 6 big bangs – that’s my cue that something is going to happen in the hood. I go to the front door, and can hear all my neighbors saying “Abre la puerta” (open the door) because if your door is open they throw the candy into your house, which is easier than having to scoop it off the street.

I open my door at 9:00 am to this:
Outside my front door, 9:00 a.m.

One of my favorite neighbors is the sweet old lady who lives across the street who always waves at me from her balcony. Her name is Joaquima and she has been participating in this San Medir candy scramble since she was a little kid herself.

Joaquima picking up candies plus another little old lady neighbor.

I take snapshots of various neighbors picking up candy, scrambling around, tiny kids and elderly alike.

The kids love this holiday. I walk over to the larger street, Gran de Gracia and this is what I find:

Little kids screaming “aqui” for candy

I walked around the neighborhood a bit and was passed by this lively parade of candy throwers:

Only *my* neighborhood in Barcelona celebrates San Medir. Gracia clings stubbornly to its Catalan roots and this is one of a few celebrations indigenous only to Gracia. The rest of Barcelona leads a normal business day.

Later, we are in our comfortable house clothes at about 10 pm when yet another parade goes by. I shoot this from our doorstep. You can see Joaquima across the street still hanging out, hanging on to her bag of candy.