Barcelona has the best art centres in the world. Theatres, auditoriums, museums all combine to make the city a cultural haven. It also offers an almost endless programme of festivals and festivities. In recent years, the Primavera Sound festival, (www.primaverasound.com), in late May, is one of the biggest rock events in Spain. Sonar (www.sonar.es), held in June, is Europe's leading festival of new trends in music and art. In June, the Grec Theatre Festival brings the greatest Spanish artists of dance and drama to the best venues in the city. The Guitar Festival, which takes place during the spring, brings traditional flamenco to Barcelona and, of course, its local cousin, the Catalan rumba.
Like all Spanish cities, Barcelona has its fair share of traditional festivities and celebrates the local patron saints' days in style. Santa Eulalia, in February, culminates with the Ciutat de Barcelona (City of Barcelona) awards for arts, sciences and humanities; a stroll down Las Ramblas at Sant Jordi, (Saint George's Day) in April, will leave no doubt that this is a feast of books and roses; in June, the midsummer night celebrations on the eve of St. Juan are an explosion of bonfires and fireworks. The fiesta mayor de Gracia in August is an excuse for the whole of the Gracia district to get dress in its finery for the celebrations. In September the fiesta de la Merce is celebrated across the city with live shows, concerts and dances. Finally, the Santa Lucia fair, in December, is a perfect preparation for Christmas and the winter solstice.
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