Saint Pontius Fair in Barcelona

Saint Pontius Fair in Barcelona
Every year on May 11 the city of Barcelona hosts the Saint Pontius fair (Fira De Sant Ponç De Barcelona). The fair is dedicated to Saint Pontius of Cimiez, a Christian saint and martyr venerated as the patron of beekeepers and herbalists.

Saint Pontius of Cimiez, also known as Pons of Cimiez, was martyred in Cimiez (now part of Nice, France) during the rule of Emperor Valerian. The saint is also believed to have a special connection with Catalonia. According to local tradition he came to Barcelona and helped poor people who couldn’t afford to buy medicine by providing them with healing potions he made with medicinal herbs. He thus became the patron of herbalists and beekeepers and Catalans now hold a fair in his honor.

Fairs in honor of Saint Pontius are held in many cities, towns and villages across Catalonia, but the largest and most famous one takes place in Barcelona. It has been held since the Middle Ages. Some believe that its roots can be traced back to pagan celebrations in honor of Flora, a Roman goddess of flowers and spring. The Saint Pontius fair in Barcelona occurs on May 11, the feast day of Saint Pontius. Since 1817, it has taken place in the neighborhood of El Raval, along Carrer de l’Hospital.

On the eve of the fair, the icon of Saint Pontius is decorated with herbs and flowers. A Mass in honor of Saint Pontius is then served, followed by the blessing of herbs. Then the fair begins, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Vendors offer an impressive array of high-quality products. Although the fair mostly focuses on herbs and honey, one can also find here artisan cheese made by local cheesemakers, cottage cheese, jam, candied fruits, wines, freshly baked bread, syrups, various kinds of meat, and more. All products are locally made and 100% natural.

Saint Pontius Fair

Photo: GloryGlory




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