Tradition tells us that Sant Medir was a Catalan peasant who lived in the early fourth century in the Collserola mountains, near what today would be Sant Cugat del Vallès, and who was beheaded by the Romans for supposedly helping a priest. The traditions and the worshipping of the saint were lost and almost completely forgotten until, starting in the 19th century, the residents of Barcelona's Gràcia and Sarria-Sant Gervasi neighbourhoods started picking them back up again. These areas are where the celebrations originated and are now held every year on March 3.
Sant Medir brings sweets for the little ones, but there are also plenty of other traditional goings-on throughout the month of March.
TUESDAY, MARCH 3
Tuesday is Sant Medir's feast day, and it's celebrated with parades in Sarrià, Sant Gervasi and Gràcia, regaling kids with loads of sweets. In Sarrià, the 'colles' (groups who get together for the day's activities) will meet in Plaça del Consell de la Vila, accompanied by two vehicles carrying other colles. In the afternoon, the colles get their parade underway at 6.30pm in the streets and squares of the barrio. They leave from the Desert de Sarrià and make their way back to Plaça del Consell de la Vila.
In Sant Gervasi there will be parades in the morning courtesy of that area's colles, while at night they'll meet other groups in C/Sant Salvador to parade through the neighbourhood of Gràcia.
In Gràcia, where it can be said they celebrate the biggest, the colles are involved in a parade that starts at 10am in Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia. At 8pm, all the colles meet up in C/Sant Salvador and C/Escorial to start a big parade, headed up by the Federation and Municipal Orchestra of the City Mounted Police. The parade ends at the Pla de Salmeron.
SUNDAY, MARCH 8
At 10.30am all the colles meet up in front of the Parroquia de Sant Medir to follow the lead of the Colla de la Parroquia de Sant Medir and the Municipal Orchestra of the City Mounted Police. After the parade, the colles head to their respective flags in the Parroquia de Sant Medir de Sants and celebrate Mass in honour of the festival's patron.
SUNDAY, MARCH 15
At noon it's time for the Diada Castellera de Sant Medir in Plaça Raspall. This is a day of building impressive human towers with participating 'castellers' (the groups who form the towers) from Vila de Gràcia, Sants and Sant Cugat.