L’Alt Penedès is a land which preserves its festivities and traditions. One could say the same of any other region in the country, probably of any region in the world, but we would highlight that in this region folklore is particularly rich and rooted.
The Town Festivity of Vilafranca is really exceptional: it has the best passacaglia in the country, with the same cadence year after year where up to 20 dancers participate. Those people who want to witness the magic of the popular festivity most intensely should not miss the entrance of Saint Fèlix on 30th August at night time. On the same day it is also worth seeing the human towers, one of the most passionate and emotive experiences in the local culture.
The Vilafranca festivity model is reproduced – on an appropriate scale- throughout the region, in the boroughs and neighbourhoods. All of them have the giants’ dance, the correfoc (devils with fireworks) and most typically a day when the human towers are the centre of attention. All these elements are still alive, although their origins are very old. The Dragon of Vilafranca – along with the one from Olot - is the oldest dragon still preserved in Catalonia. Nowadays almost every town has its own dragons and giants. The “devils” (type of fireworks) have also seen an important expansion. One of the most attractive dances, very wide spread in the Penedès region, is Bastons: there are 10 registered groups in L’Alt Penedès, and Baix Penedès has 2 that are among the oldest, the ones from L’Arboç and Llorenç. The Falcons were recuperated in this town and then the Vilafranca ones were created. They have caused a revolution in the model and now there are also Falcons in Puigdàlber and Sant Sadurní. The aforementioned human towers are one of the most outstanding symbols of identity and integration in Catalan culture. Born in Valls, in the nearby region of Camp they were quickly accepted by the inhabitants of the Penedès region. Nowadays there are 2 human tower groups in Vilafranca: Els Castellers, founded in 1948, and Els Xicots, founded in 1982. The “colla degana”, called “Els Verds” is one of the most outstanding in the country.