The local festivals

The local festival is the most outstanding fiesta of a village. In Catalonia, this sort of celebration goes back to the 13th or the 14th century and has traditionally acted as meeting point for the local community, who will meet in a public space, such as a square or a church.

Tossa celebrates two local festivals: the Winter Festival of Saint Vincent, patron saint of the parish, on the 22nd January, and the Summer Festival of Saint Peter, patron saint of the fishermen, on the 29th June.

Corpus Christi

The Corpus Christi is a celebration of the Catholic Church meant for the veneration of the Eucharist. It is a movable feast of the liturgical calendar, that takes place on the following Thursday of the eighth Pentecost.

This medieval fiesta has a marked ostentatious character, closer to pagan celebrations than to any religious one.

Corpus Christi is celebrated every year in Tossa on date (and not on the following Sunday as other villages do).  The town centre streets are adorned with flower mats and altars, and in the afternoon there is a mass and the traditional procession, that moves along the adorned streets.

The “aplecs”

The “aplecs” are popular meetings of long tradition on the Mediterranean area that are often held in open air, and have a religious origin.

In Tossa there had been up to 4 “aplecs” (meetings) held in nearby hermitages and shrines: Sant Benet, Sant Grau, Sant Baldiri and Mare de Déu de Gràcia. These meetings were an occasion to bring families and friends together and participate in religious and folkloric events. From these, only Sant Benet in summer and Sant Grau in autumn are still celebrated.

The “aplec” of Sant Grau, which is held on the 13th October, is the most popular. This meeting has been evolving over the years. It used to be traditional that citizens walked up to the shrine in the morning, where a mass and a procession, with an orchestra accompaniment, took place. After, a couple of sardanas were danced, people had dinner and some more sardanas were danced. The meeting used to finish praying a rosary and singing some songs to the saint.

Nowadays, some people still walk up to the shrine, but the majority arrive by car. The folkloric events of the meeting are still held, but most of the religious activities and practices that used to take place are not celebrated any more.