Santa Tecla in Tarragona: An Incredible Town Festival
If you have never taken part in Santa Tecla Festival in Tarragona, it’s time to go!
Santa Tecla Festival is the most important event in Tarragona: it takes place in September every year and attracts big crowds who want to celebrate the saint patron of the city.
For its cultural importance, this amazing festival was declared “Patrimonial festival of national interest” and “Touristic Festival of national interest”.
Since ancient times the cult of Santa Tecla has been crucial, however the festivity became very popular only in 1321, when the relic of Santa Tecla’s arm arrived in Tarragona from Antioch.
The city welcomed the relic with a spectacular reception, which started the festival’s tradition.
Since then, all the population, despite social classes and internal divisions, took possession of the city’s streets and celebrated the patroness saint.
Every year the streets of Tarragona are filled with music, street theatre, dance, masks, fire runners and much more for ten days.
One of the most typical feature of the festival are the castells, human castles made of people: the castellers build human towers standing on each other’s shoulders.
Each human tower is normally made of 4-5 levels and is completed when the last person (called enxaneta) climbs the tower reaching its top and raises one hand: this signal means that the tower is complete.
Once the towers are built, they start moving trying to keep all the elements together: that is why they are called pilars caminant, which means “walking pillar”.
Another important part of the festival is the parade: the Seguici Popular (Popular Parade) walks along the streets of the Part Alta (Historic Centre) bringing Santa Tecla’s relics to the Cathedral.
The parade is accompanied by masks, music, traditional dance of the guilds, castells and fireworks: a fun and colorful celebration you will never forget!
If you want to make a better idea of this amazing festival, look at some pictures on our Pinterest board!
Taking part in Santa Tecla Festival would be fantastic… What are you waiting for? Make it happen!