Vilafranca Festa Major: A Town Festival in Honor of a Saint

Five days of intense, traditional Catalan culture. A huge celebration combining new and old traditions all of them linked to the fields and the vineyards in full harvest.

Sant Fèlix, the patron saint of Vilafranca, begins his route on August 29th. Nearly one year after having been confined to the house of his custodian, his acclaimed return to the streets of town begin and end in the church of Santa Maria. He only spends nine days each year in the church and then returns to the guardianship of the people, among whom he belongs.
August 30th is the main and most emotional day for Sant Fèlix and all the people of Vilafranca. The procession completed and having arrived at the Basilica of Santa Maria, the festivities begin with folkloric dances, traditional music, and the fire of masquerading devils all parading through the streets of town and culminating with a traditional fireworks display. A night of euphoria, passion and a little sadness as Sant Fèlix will not return for another year.

What You Must See During Vilafranca Festa Major

The Day of the Human Castles. A major attraction of the festival, the traditional “human castles” originated in Catalonia and are now known throughout the world. On the 30th and 31st of August, two days of intense competition to see which team can mount and dismount the tallest and most creative forms of human castles. A must see for those unfamiliar with this peculiar and spine-tingling tradition.

The Grand Entrance of Sant Fèlix. On the 29th and 30th of August, the plaza in front of Santa Maria swells with the loyal and devout. Intense evenings of fire, music and human castles.

The Processions. From the 29th to the 31st of August, the entire town comes alive with traditional processions through the streets including dragons, devils, giants and the traditional “grallers” with their calls to the faithful. And an appearance by Sant Fèlix himself!

Cal Florit, An Oasis of Calm in el Penedès

Enjoy the five days of activities from Cal Florit, the only Modernist casa rural catalogued by the Generalitat of Catalonia for its architectural interest. Only five minutes from the center of Vilafranca, Cal Florit is a 7 bedroom restored Modernist house with a large pool, landscaped gardens, covered outdoor dining area, all surrounded by handmade stone walls to offer the utmost in intimacy and privacy. And rooftop viewing of the spectacular fireworks show!

Pictures by Toni Galitó