The Catalan Traditions in Malgrat de Mar

Visiting a land and discovering its cultural idiosyncrasies is what every traveler of the twenty-first century aspires to, and in this sense, Catalan land is full of endearing celebrations and traditions that Malgrat de Mar welcomes in its population.

There are cultural manifestations typical of Catalonia such as Sardana, its traditional dance; the Catalonia’s Day, the celebration of the national day of Catalonia; or Els Castellers, which are present at major acts and parties, but there are also other traditions that are part of part of live parties, such as Caga Tió at the traditional Christmas party.

The day of Catalonia, on September 11, remembers the brave defense of Barcelona after 14 months of siege, which ended with a sad end to the people of Barcelona. Every year, throughout Catalonia, there are reminders of this day with floral offerings and institutional events. In Malgrat de Mar, September 11th begins with a sung song of the Atzavara Choir and the choirs of the Aula Contrapunt, and a poem reading by the Poetry Group of the Cooperative’s Library, all in front of the Malgrat de Mar Town Hall. Both acts end with the hoisting of the flag, the national flag of Catalonia. Next, the traditional flower offering is made by entities and associations in the Parc de Can Campassol, which ends with the reading of a manifesto. And finally, the day also ends at the Can Campassol Park with the sardana dance organized by the Sardana Association Malgratenca La Barretina.

Sardana, the traditional emblematic dance of Catalonia, has an ancestral origin in the tradition of dancing by taking hold of hands. In the sixteenth century is the first written reference we find, and until the nineteenth century we can not find it renewed according to the current parameters (composition, accounts and accompaniment of the instrumental group, La Cobla). At the beginning of the 20th century, it had a great popularity, and nowadays, Ballads, Sardanist Colles Contests, and the appreciated Aplecs de la Sardana (Meeting of Sardanes Colles) are organized in all the towns of Catalonia. In Malgrat de Mar, and thanks to the Sardanist Association Malgratenca La Barretina, the tradition of dancing Sardanes is still alive, and throughout the year they are organized at different times. In 2019, in Malgrat de Mar, you can dance Sardanas on September 8, participate in the Vigil Aplec day on October 5, and enjoy the 45th Aplec de la Sardana, on Sunday, October 6. And if you are bold, on December 8 you can participate in the 47th Improvised Colles Contest! All these Sardanist acts, organized in the Parc de Can Campassol of Malgrat de Mar.

One of the most well-known traditional Catalan manifestations anywhere and outside the Catalan territory are Els Castellers, the great revelation of recent years in Catalonia. A genuine cultural manifestation derived from a dance that ended with the takeoff of a human tower. Since the 90’s the tradition has spread throughout the whole of Catalonia, and in 2010 they were recognized as Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. The ever more complete human towers are known, valued and appreciated also outside the Catalan territory. In Malgrat de Mar, the relationship with the Castellers has been consolidated since 2013 when the Colla de Castellers de l’Alt Maresme, the “Maduixots”, was set up, which with great pride raises human towers, which are increasingly complex.

And we have to talk about the beloved Caga Tió, a deeply rooted Catalan tradition that has its origin in the desire to show the children the love of nature, the need to take care of the environment so that it can return to us Fruits form these cures. In rural societies, a trunk of the forest was chosen, and for some days it was kept warm from the cold winter, and was fed and cared for. Then, on Christmas Eve, he was spoiled by singing a song, and finally, Tió gave good food. Nowadays, tradition has evolved, and Tió “caga” gifts to children, although it is maintained that the previous days must be taken care of by giving it food so that it can crawl later. In Malgrat de Mar, with other Catalan towns, the City Council offers children the possibility of shaking Tió in the Church Square.

Come to Malgrat de Mar and discover the most ingrained Catalan traditions in our territory!