la laia

our (almost impromptu) visit to barcelona in february coincided with the la laia festivities, in honour of the city’s 13 year old patron. as the tragic story goes, in the fourth century, young eulalia refused to renounce her christianity, rebeling against the rule of emperor diocletian… which ended up getting her imprisoned, gruesomely tortured and killed. pretty depressing stuff… but she’s remembered as a martyr child who fought for her convictions until the end.

i love discovering the traditions and costumes of the places we visit, so we had to ask… how do they celebrate a young martyr? turns out, the answer is with dances, giants… and dances with giants!

people started gathering in a square one afternoon, chatting, grouping, putting their stuff on the floor… then suddenly, the band started playing and everyone around us was giving hands dancing sardanas! the footwork seemed rather tricky, with sudden twists and jumps but everyone seemed to be in on the secret steps!

after that, the giant laias and other characters walked the streets of the old town, eventually joining the dancers in the square for a little dance too while nearby, some volunteers distributed hot chocolate and buns for the children!

giants dancing, you say? yup! pretty awesome in my book!

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