Giants, big heads, castells and Miquelets

In Badalona there are many traditions and you should not miss the opportunity to enjoy them. Castells and Miquelets are, probably, the most scenic.

Castells are human towers which symbolize real castles. They are organized by a group of people called “colla”, and, normally, there is one colla per town. When there is a contest of castells, many colles from different villages and cities meet at the same location.

The castells have a hierarchical structure: the strongest and old males are set in the basement of the tower. The age of the members is decreasing when the tower is getting higher, up to the end, where the “anxeneta” – the youngest member of the colla – climbs the tower and makes the signal to end the castell.

The castell is done when is totally built and then unmounted, and the contests are about who makes it more solid, faster or more spectacular. There are several variations for the castells, from a few floors with lot of people up to nine floors with two people on each floor.

People that do not belong to the colla are also called to help in the basement, being part of the show.

If you are in Badalona during the May festivities and suddenly you start hearing shoots and explosions, do not be afraid, is not the start of a war, are the Miquelets.

Miquelets, and gun men in general, are traditional formations of soldiers in Catalonia, which dress up like in times of the French war. Historically, the Miquelets were farmers which helped during the big war against France, organized in militias. They carry very old shotguns, shooting them to the air and walking through the streets of the city. Is a very impressive show, but not recommended to the young members of the family, they can be easily scared of the noise and the serious looking of the soldiers.

It is very easy to find more cultural expressions during a festivity in Catalonia along with Miquelets and human towers. Big heads and giants are some of them.

Giants and big heads
Giants are very big representations of the old kings, queens and nobles of the Catalan history wearing traditional clothes. In Badalona they also have a gap in the cultural agenda of the city.

They dance in front of the city hall, following the music of a cobla – the traditional music formation of Catalonia. Giants are normally accompanied by big-heads, people which wear a huge mask and run after the kids, trying to scare them and throwing sweets.

Although all of them are very old traditions, they have lot of presence in the festivities of Badalona, so, if you are here for a few days, it is a very good opportunity to get closer to the Catalan culture and way of life.

What are you waiting for? Tradition, modernity, beach, sun… Badalona is here for you.