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Sant Roc, a village vow

From August 14 to 16, the Sant Roc festival arrives in Arenys de Mar!

One of the first acts of the Saint Roc’s festival in Arenys de Mar, is the crowded night parade of giants, carry out on several streets of the town, on the evening of August 14, in a magical atmosphere, full of music, dances and fun.

On August 15, the town revives the arrival of the plague to Arenys de Mar, which, for some hours, travels at the end of the sixteenth century, becomes the town of Santa Maria of Arenys.

©Elisabet Parra

On August 16, Saint Roc Festival, the macips and the macipes (young boys and girls dressed in white and red) roam the streets and private houses of the town, soaking everyone in their bags of perfumed water to the cry of “Glorious Sant Roc”! In this way, the renewal of the town vow, which is done to the saint by the end of the terrible epidemic that has taken place, takes place.

On July 13, 2021, the Government of Catalonia has declared the Sant Roc Festival as a Heritage Festival of National Interest. This is the highest degree of protection of the intangible heritage of popular and traditional Catalan culture. The unique features of this celebration so deeply rooted in the festive calendar of Arenys de Mar people make it a reference festival in the regional and national context.

The party closes with the traditional Dance of Arenys by the Esbart Maragall. A couple of dancers remember a courtship dance dating back to the 17th century, at the sound of the cobla and adorned with traditional clothing.