It's time once more for the Festa Major (annual festival) of the Raval neighbourhood, which sees the area fill with activities between July 13 and 16: parades ('cercaviles'), screenings, workshops, sports, concerts of all different kinds of music, food and dances; the programme reflects the open, diverse nature of one of Barcelona's most emblematic barrios. The festival starts on Thursday 13 with a parade and performance of the Raval's choral societies, a dance and procession of 'gegants' and 'capgrossos' (large-scale papier-mâché figures that often represent local historical characters), and the opening speech by Faouzia Chati Badou, president of the Catalan Association of Moroccan Women. Throughout the festa major, the Haima Amical will be set up in Plaça dels Àngels with cultural workshops (Fri-Sun, 10am-midnight). On July 15 at 6pm in Plaça Pedró, you can see a performance of 'bastoners', traditonal Catalan dancers who bang sticks together as part of their act, along with a procession of seven local 'bastoner' groups through the streets of the Raval. Sporting activities on the Rambla del Raval include the 5th Athletics Event of the Raval Festa Major (July 14, 9am) and the 22nd Raval Speed Skating Competition (July 15, 10am). Unmissable traditions include Human Towers Day ('diada castellera'), when groups show off their skill and courage in climbing on to each other's shoulders high into the air, and there will also be more 'gegants' on display (July 15, 6pm). Finally, for a true spectacle, don't miss the 'correfoc' ('fire run'), a group event that sees 'demons' twirl through the streets carrying sticks loaded with firecrackers, underneath which the intrepid (and heavily protected) dance (July 15, 10pm; starts C/Guifré).