Sitges’ Fiesta Mayor is celebrated from the Friday before to the Thursday after August 24th in honor of San Bartolomé, the town’s patron saint. Declared to be of National Interest by Catalonia’s Regional Government, it stands out for its popular participation, an extraordinary wealth of folklore, and an intense agenda with many street parades and performances that transform local life for a few days.
August 23rd is the most eagerly-awaited day of the Party. At noon the "pasacalle" begins with the “grallers” (typical pommer players from Catalonia), who make their entrance in the “Cap de la Vila” square. Later, the chiming of bells announces the start of the most popular performances. Giants and typical characters, such as the Dragon and the Eagle, will preside over the traditional dances performed by the “collas.” The best known are the “Moixiganga”, performing a series of human figures while dancing, “the gypsies”, who dance to the rhythm of their colorful ribbons, “the batons” and “the devils”, who are in charge of livening up the night with “fire-runs.”
Another highlight of the Party’s nighttime celebrations is, undoubtedly, the Fireworks. On the night of August 23rd, the famous Sitges church is completely lit up by a cascade of lights and figures in the air. The show does not disappoint anyone; numerous visitors are captivated year after year by the magic of this special night.
About a month later, from the Friday before to the Friday after September 24th, the Santa Tecla Fiestas are celebrated, which, although smaller in scale, are no less important to Sitges. Again, passacaglias, typical dances, sardanas (Catalan folk dances), and performances will fill this week.
The castellera is another tradition that has been recovered in recent years. The “Colla jove de Sitges”, dressed in burgundy shirts and white trousers, performs every year on the most important days of Sitges’ celebrations. The spectacular and breathtaking human towers of different heights always draw huge crowds, attracting people from all over the region.