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There is no other time of the year as lively as during the great festival, Santa Tecla. In 2002 was declared “Festival of tourist interest” by the Spanish government and in 2010 was declared “Patrimonial festival of national interest” by the Catalan government. The origins of this celebration held on the streets go back to the year 1321 when the arm relic of the patron saint arrived to the city from Armenia.
For over one week, the people from Tarragona and the visitors go out on the streets to take over the most emblematic areas of the city where the different traditional, festive and gastronomic events take place.
On Santa Tecla’s day, the 23rd in the afternoon, the Seguici Popular (literally “popular retinue”) walks around the streets of the Part Alta (old town) giving way to the relic of Santa Tecla. Of particular note is the entrance of the arm of Santa Tecla to the cathedral with the dance of all the traditional elements, human towers, ringing of the bells and fireworks.
The 24th is the human tower day of La Mercè (Our Lady of Mercy) with the participation of the city’s colles (human towers groups) who exhibit the singular walking towers.
After a year of restrictions imposed by the pandemic, between 15 and 24 September, Santa Tecla will resume the most traditional part of its festivities with the Seguici Popular (Popular Retinue), which this year will perform in full.