A celebration of Saint Eulàlia's day, one of Barcelona's patron saints, has all features of a Catalan street festival, popular since the 14th century. There is a parade with giants and other fantasy characters, Sardana folk dancers, Correfoc fire-runs. And finally, there will be Castellers or human towers, a peculiar Catalonian tradition distinguished by UNESCO.
Saint Eulalia died on 12th February, 303. She was a 13-year-old Christian girl who was tortured to death and became a martyr during the persecution of Christians by Roman emperor Diocletian. The Santa Eulàlia festival is often perceived as a festival for children and includes many fun activities like story-telling, puppets, family workshops, and special concerts. Most of the events and festive activities occur in Placa de Sant Jaume.
The main highlight of the holiday is “Las Laies” procession featuring giants, eagles, and dragons. Laia is the giant puppet who represents Saint Eulalia. Giants Dance is a typical custom during the festivities. The parade also showcases music schools, choirs and children's orchestras. There are also children's photography contest "Foto Laia" and the "Premis Ciutat de Barcelona" awards for small business keepers.
Another tradition during this event is A Cross of Santa Eulalia, a special Catalan pastry inspired by the saint. The dessert is a sweet bread shaped like a cross decorated with cherries and is especially beloved by children.