- This event has passed.
Fêtes de la St Côme et St Damien, Argelès sur Mer
22nd September - 23rd September
Fêtes de la St Côme et St Damien
Every year, towards the end of September, Argelès-sur-Mer pays homage to its patron saints, Saint Côme and Saint Damien, twins and early Christian martyrs, who healed the sick for free.
According to legend, Argelès was struck by plague in the 17th century, an epidemic which disappeared on 27th September 1652 – the feast of the patron saints – and on which day the population made a vow to carry out a solemn procession to honour them every year.
Covering a variety of activities, the festival ends in a long weekend of different events and entertainment, Sardanes, castellers, and bals, crashing to a grand finale parade through the streets. More than 50 gegants i capgrossos (giants & big head) from across North and South Catalonia come together for a mega street party.
‘Gégants’ are enormous figures, sometimes 14 or 15 ft tall, with painted papier-maché heads and arms. Dressed in traditional clothing, they are built on a frame with a person inside, controlling the movements as the giant dances and sways.
Most towns have their own giants. They usually appear in couples, often as king and queen, or some other important person from the town’s history. They go out during the patron saint holiday of the town (Festa Major) or on special days, and dance in the streets with “big-heads” or “cap-grossos”, smaller figures, with oversized heads, who parody local characters.
These big headed fellows will often carry a whip or pig bladder, to frighten the children!
Contact the Office de Tourisme for the 2018 programme
Here’s how the celebrations looked last year…
Cabaret des Argelésiens
Argelès residents perfrom a show full of humour, song and dance at Espace Jean Carrère from 9pm
Traditional Catalan ball at Place République from 9pm
Meeting of the giants and Caps grossos (grosses têtes) from all over Catalogne. More than 50 Gegants will dance and entertain in the streets
Parade from 10am…. Passerelle de la Massane – Rue de la République – Place de la République – Rue Jean Jaurès – Rue du 14 Juillet – Place dels Balls – Avenue de la Libération – Rue Victor Hugo – Rue du 4 Septembre – Rue Camille Pelletan
Expo of Gegants from 12pm in Place Gambetta
Concert with Select Aioli
9.30pm Place Gambetta
Office Municipal d’Animation
Place de l’Europe
Tél. 04 68 81 10 15