The tears of an unloved saint

Tuesday is La Mercé in the city of Barcelona. It is a holiday, with a procession of papier maché giants, drummers, and dancers, that winds through the streets of the centre, and it pulls the whole world in to watch.

Barcellona mercede celebration

It is also a celebration that is famous for being rained out. But why? Here is an explanation, my wife, Susana told me. The first version is in Spanish – her words, and the second, a “translation”.

Por la Mercé, siempre llueve porque Santa Eulàlia llora. La explicación es que antes la patrona de Barcelona era Santa Eulàlia y ahora lo es la Mercé. La lluvia es sus lagrimas.

(During Mercé, it always rains because Santa Eulàlia cries. Eulàlia cries because she was the patron saint of Barcelona before, and now La Mercé is. The rain is her tears.)