Sitges Tourism

A Very Big Little "Festa Major"

There are adjectives that, in certain situations, shouldn't be taken literally, quite the contrary. For example, Sitges' "Little Festa Major", which is not little at all. The 'little', to contextualize it for you, is more because of who the big stars with a capital B are of this festival in honor of Santa Tecla: the boys and girls.

Children taking to the streets, where they dance with their 'cabezudos', big-headed carnival figures, and dragons of their own creation; exhibitions by 'Castells', human towers, that defy both balance and vertigo, and firework displays that sprinkle the night sky and the sea with color. Well, that and much more is what in Sitges we call the Little Festa Major. You know us...we love irony;)


If you have the opportunity to visit Sitges on September 23rd, the celebration of Santa Tecla, the town' s co-patron saint, get up extra early and you will receive an unforgettable reward. Starting at seven in the morning, with sleepy faces but very focused, about a thousand children are accompanied by their dragons and 'cabezudos' and dance in a coordinated and heartfelt way, displaying the result of weeks of rehearsals. It is truly moving to watch, because if there is one thing the children have, it's that they don't fake it. And the excitement they feel is universal and contagious.


In this children's sunrise celebration, the parade is multicolored, as boys and girls dress up as different characters: Gegants (giants), Cabeçuts (big-heads), Dracs (dragons), Àguiles (eagles), Diables (devils), Bastons (stick dancers), Pastorets (shepherds), Cercolets (traditional dancers), Gitanes (gypsies), Panderetes (tambourine dancers), Cintes (ribbon dancers) and Moixiganga (ritual dances).


Children who are now adults have participated in this sunrise celebration.  This is the case of the president and head of the Diables Sitges-Colla Jove group, David Rosell, who recalls the "excitement and emotion shared" with other little boys and girls "for being the main stars of the festival, for imitating what the adults do at the Festa Major's early morning festivities".


It was precisely David's father, Jordi Rosell, who helped to institutionalize this children’s sunrise event with a competition of dragons and devils that were created and then carried by the children themselves. Two years before, the festivities commission had created this early morning matinee with the intention of introducing the children to learning Sitges' dances and folklore. We're talking about the year 1980, so imagine the many generations that have passed through this children's early morning parade. David Rosell himself remembers that it was sad for them to stop taking part in this festive procession, "but of course, when you're wearing a “cabezudo”, your knees are already showing...".


The Head of the Diables Sitges-Colla Jove group invites you to enjoy this social and cultural event for children, "which not only demonstrates Sitges' spirit and tradition, but is also a surprising spectacle, because many people are amazed at how well all the boys and girls dance and how well coordinated they are". As you know… save the date: September 23rd, a big day in Sitges with the Little Festa Major.


And if you have the opportunity, we recommend that you do not miss the different outings of the dances and fireworks and the fire castle on the 22nd at 11pm.

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