Sitges’ festivals and traditions
Sitges lives its traditional festivities with great intensity and popular participation, visitors and tourists mix with the local residents to experience the festivities with authenticity. With more than 50 events throughout the year, some of the most outstanding celebrations include; the Carnival, the Barcelona-Sitges international vintage car rally, Corpus Christi, Festa Major, Santa Tecla, the grape harvest festival, the wine exhibition and the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. Another of the recovered traditions is that of the human towers, which perform from April to October.
Corpus Christi (flower carpets):
Declared Festival of National Tourist and Artistic Interest. On Corpus Sunday Sitges’ main streets are adorned with carpets of flowers designed and prepared by the local residents during the previous night. In the afternoon the religious procession led by the children who have received their first communion, steps on the carpets.
Sitges’ main fiesta. Declared Festival of National Interest. On August 24, Sant Bartomeu, patron saint of the town, is celebrated, and in his honor on the 23rd and 24th, giants, dragons, devils and the rest of the popular dances take to the streets, also, the ‘castle of fire’ firework display the night of the 23rd from Fragata beach is worth mentioning.
Sitges’ “little main fiesta”, celebrated in honor of patron saint, Santa Tecla. Despite being a more intimate gathering than the Festa Major, it includes great moments such as the children’s pasacalle, or musical parade, held early the morning of September 23rd, when children parade alongside giants and beasts made by themselves.
Harvest festival and wine fair:
Recalling Sitges’ wine-related roots, this event is held every year, it includes a wine fair, which takes place on the Paseo de la Ribera, where the Penedès Protected Designation of Origin products are especially exhibited.
International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia: This Sitges festival is one of the most renowed film competitions in Spain, together with the San Sebastian one. It’s in its 47th edition and has specialized in the fantastic and horror genre. Throughout its history, it has brought to Sitges acclaimed directors and actors such as Quentin Tarantino, Elijah Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Daniel Brühl, Santiago Segura and Luís Tosar, among others. The celebration of a massive Zombie Walk is also noteworthy.
Carnival: Sitges’ is one of the most traditional and popular carnivals in Catalonia. From Fat Thursday to Ash Wednesday, the main highlights are the Sunday and Tuesday parades. During the day, the children’s floats parades and at night those of the adults, filling the streets with joy and debauchery. During its last edition, more than 50 floats, 2,500 people in costume and 300,000 spectators participated.
Barcelona – Sitges International Vintage Car Rally:
Declared Festival of National Tourist Interest. The Rally has been organized since 1959 and brings together classic cars and motorcycles fom before1924, most of them belonging to private collectors. They arrive in Sitges from Barcelona passing through the Costas del Garraf road, with all the participants dressed in period clothing. In the last edition, more than 60 cars and 15 old motorcycles participated. The special day is completed with an exhibition of luxury sports cars and music in the streets.