My son was whisked away by a masked devil in Barcelona.

We’ve been in Barcelona for the past six days. It’s the last city on our five-week trip, so we’re feeling a little sad, but also a little worn out. It’s been an intense journey.

During the course of our vacation, we’ve walked about 150 miles. We’ve been in 105 degree heat and pouring rain. We’ve almost missed our flight, boarded the wrong bullet train, and had a very close call.

So we’ve been taking it kind of easy over the last couple of days. We’ve kind of ambled around. And we’re glad that we did, because we literally stumbled upon this fabulous festival in the neighborhood of Gracia.

festa de gracia paper cranes

This is truly a neighborhood event, with the different streets competing to see which one can create the most interesting and unique theme for their block.

festa de gracia under the sea

It was so fun and interesting to walk through the streets and drink it all in.

We saw Catalan line dancing…

heard beautiful classical music…

and met a few characters.

festa de gracia

We also enjoyed a bit of snacking along the way.

festa de gracia olives

But the most exciting part of the festival was the Carrefoc. This is something that would never happen in the States!

The masked devils in the Carrefoc are on the lookout for kids that they can fold up in their jackets and whisk down the street with them. For the kids, it’s a thrilling adventure that ends in fireworks right in front of their faces. For me, all I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t really know what was happening until it was already over. 🙂

One of the devils invited my son Bear to hold his hand. I thought he just wanted to give him a hug or something, but before I knew it, Bear and the devil were sprinting down the street together…and then there were a lot of sparks and some REALLY loud bangs.

Bear was thrilled, and I was too stunned to be anything but thrilled for him, so a good time was had by all.

Have you ever stumbled into a fabulous festival during your travels?


  1. I love the big origami cranes!!

    How scary to have bear whisked away like that, I think I would have totally freaked out!!

  2. pinkisnice says

    Fantastic! About 15 years ago I stumbled on a similarly incredible festival in Vejer de la Frontera in southern Spain. It was Noche de San Juan and the entire town burned a huge effigy, followed by a big celebration where a masked “bull” whisked kids away while firecrackers shot out of his horns. (At the time, I too thought how this would never be allowed in the states – and how awesome it was!)


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