The square

The public square has always provided a natural stage set for puppet theatre, and for iconic performances of traditional, popular culture. In Catalonia, the richness of the world of street figures and puppets is extraordinary, almost certainly unique in the European context. Giants, big-heads, diables (devils or demons), dragons, and other creatures of the festive bestiary are the main characters.

To give an idea of the current importance of this tradition, the umbrella organisation of different collectives l’Agrupació de Colles Geganteres de Catalunya has, together, more than 2000 Giants, moves between 20,000 and 25,000 people, and is comprised of about 500 groups that are in constant activity; and, in a single year, has 350 events! The same could be said of the groups of diables. According to l’Agrupació del Bestiari Festiu i Popular de Catalunya, there are more than 300 different active figures. Unusual, and unique in Europe!

Street theatre in Catalonia generated an important number of highly significant companies. Their work, which began in the 1970s and 80s, constitutes a solid, indispensable foundation on which much of the extraordinary richness of our country’s popular, animated iconography is based.