Every June, the city of Barcelona celebrates the L’Ou Com Balla festival, held in conjunction with Corpus Christi, which is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday in commemoration of the Last Supper.
This year it runs from June 16th to June 19th, 2022, with decorations and events on in various locations throughout the city.
Roughly translated as ‘How the egg dances’, L’Ou Com Balla is one of the region’s quirkiest festivals, along with the correfocs (where fire work-wielding devils run through the streets). The festival is only held in Barcelona and its origins date back to between the 15th and 17th centuries according to different historical records.
Several places in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain, such as the coastal town of Sitges, mark Corpus Christi with giant carpets made of flowers and petals spread throughout the streets. While you can see a few of these in Barcelona, the Catalan capital celebrates a little differently.
Here, the flowers decorate the public fountains found in many squares, cloisters and gardens across the city. And in the middle of these elaborately decorated fountains sits an egg.
Pushed up by the force of the water, the eggs seem to almost dance in the spray, creating a beautiful, hypnotic, if not slightly comical scene.
The trick to make it dance is to blow the egg yolk and white out of the shell through a tiny hole made in the bottom and leave the whole shell intact.
You can see the dancing eggs in fountains across the city in locations such as Barcelona Cathedral, the Frederic Marès Museum, the Marítim Museum, Casa de l’Ardiaca and Palau Lloctinent, as well as in 16 others you can see here.
This means that it’s also a chance to get to visit little-known squares in palaces, churches and other places you can’t normally access without paying a fee.
This year is set to be a little different as Barcelona will be celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Corpus Christi procession.
2022 is the first year that Barcelona’s Corpus Christi celebrations have been proclaimed as a Heritage Festival of National Interest too.
There is currently an exhibition of the history of the festival on at the Capella Reial de Santa Àgata de Barcelona.
As well as the dancing eggs on the evening of June 18th 2022, from 6:30pm onwards there will be a parade of gegants through the Old Town, Catalonia’s traditional giant puppets. Each neighbourhood in Barcelona has its own specific giants who represent them.
There will also be dancing and fireworks on in front of the Ajuntament/Ayuntamiento (Town Hall).
On June 19th 2022, there will be the Corpus Procession with yet more giants, acrobatics and a special mass at the cathedral.