Sixty days after Easter Sunday, locals celebrate Corpus Christi (June 20 to 23 this year) with one of the most unique traditions in Barcelona: ‘L’ou com balla,’ or ‘The dancing egg’. Church fountains across the city are lavishly decorated with flowers while an egg is placed atop the stream of water to create the illusion of a dance. The tradition’s origins are somewhat mysterious, but the most widely accepted start date was 1637 at the Barcelona Cathedral. Today, residents flock to that cathedral and countless others – as well as other courtyards and gardens – to witness the egg bouncing and twirling in a representation of rebirth or Holy Communion (depending on who you ask).
Just a few places to check out the dance in action are the Basílica de la Puríssima Concepció (Aragó, 299), the garden of the Frederic Marès art and sculpture museum, the Historical Archive of the City of Barcelona, the Maritime Museum, Casa dels Entremesos or the gardens at the Ateneu. Other beautifully decorated areas include the courtyard of the Museu Etnològic and the Museu de Cultures del Món, plus the floral carpet in Plaça de la Virreina inspired by the Gaudían style of the Sant Joan de Baptiste church (Santa Creu, 2) in Gràcia.
Corpus Christi also means free entry into several of Barcelona’s emblematic buildings such as Barcelona City Hall, Pedralbes Monastery and the Reial Acadèmia de les Bones Lletres.
What's more, on Sunday the 23rd you can catch the festive parade that closes the celebrations. The parade kicks off at 7pm from Plaça Sant Jaume, and heads along C/ del Bisbe and Plaça Nova, where it joins up with the Corpus Christi procession, which itself leaves from Av de la Catedral at 7.15pm. Traditional Catalan characters such as giants, beasts and bigheads will be a sight to see.