Sitges' Corpus Christi, a Unique Festival Not to be Missed
Yes, yes, it's not a mistake and we aren't exaggerating. The first documented reference to Sitges' Corpus Christi dates back to 1358. The origin and essence was (and still is) religious, of course. But over time, this tradition progressively acquired a participatory and very organic character. And so, since almost two hundred years ago, the streets shed their skin, change their gray suit for a floral and vegetable rainbow dress, plush and scented with the scent of spring and the sea.
These floral carpets are 'woven' by the local residents on each street, who first draw the shape and then cover it with flowers, with carnations as the main feature in most of the compositions. Sitges' schools and institutes also design their own 'tapestry', as well as a number of local organizations.
Figures and letters to contextualize the magnitude of the spectacle: this year there will be 32 floral carpets with very different sizes, ranging from the smallest 20 square meter ones, which occupy various sections of streets, to the 700 square meters that will dress all of Santiago Rusiñol Street. And it is estimated that 350,000 carnations, two tons of rice husks (which in Catalan is called 'pellofa') and more than 1,000 square meters of grass and cypress wood will be used for this road carpeting.
Eduard Tomàs, president of Sitges' Municipal Corpus Christi Commission, flashes an almost endless smile when asked about this festival's recent declaration as one of national interest: "We're very happy, very proud, because we're talking about the highest distinction a festival can receive in Catalonia; this should help us to highlight its value, to be aware that we have a celebration in Sitges that has been going on for many years and that they are acknowledging that it is very exceptional, that it's a benchmark". Eduard exudes excitement and enthusiasm when he talks about a "unique" festival, which he urges both locals and visitors to join in, "more intensely and with more joy than ever."
Some practical data, of course: the streets are transformed into multicolored tapestries on the morning of Corpus Christi Sunday (June 11th, this year). However, the day before, on Saturday, if you're in Sitges, it's well worth seeing the process of creating these floral carpets, which begins in the afternoon. And not only that, if you would like to help cut and arrange carnations or geraniums, you are most welcome, of course. Corpus Christi, like everything else in Sitges, is inclusive: if you're here, you're from here.
On the same Sunday, these streets converted into gardens are used for the evening's Corpus Christi procession, with the participation of the 'Gegants' (Giants), as well as several beasts (Sitges' Dragon and Eagle) and the 15 dancers of the 'Ball de la Moixiganga' (Moixiganga Dance), with their white vests covered in flowers. Also participating are the boys and girls who have received their first communion, as well as the 'Hereus' and the 'Pubilles' (the first-born children) from different entities and neighborhoods of Sitges.
And on Sunday there's also a very unique dance: 'el ou com balla', an egg that dances on the water of the fountain at the entrance of the spectacular and majestic Maricel Palace. Its water has been spinning the egg of the day since, at least, 1886.
We are looking forward to celebrating Sitges' Corpus Christi with you. Our festival, yours and that of everyone who would like to join us. As the painter Henri Matisse used to say, "There are always flowers for those who want to see them." In Sitges, on top of that, we make it so easy for you.
- June 2023
- May 2023