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The Catalan culture is expressed most strongly during the many folk festivals held in Barcelona. Fireworks light up the night sky so often it seems as if there’s always something to celebrate. Most festivals were originally in honour of the patron saints of Barcelona or Catalonia. Thousands of people take to the streets during processions, either in traditional costumes or with features that recall ancient rituals.
Demonstrations of acrobatic art, human pyramids or towers (castells) are well-known elements of some Catalan festivals. Processions are almost always accompanied by gegants, giant figures made from papier maché. If you’d like to take part yourself you’re welcome to try joining in with the sardana, although this Catalan folk dance is more difficult than it looks.