The Festa Major

Party for July

The Festa Major of Sant Julià de Lòria is always celebrated on the last weekend of July.

There are many different activities that take place in the last days of July in the city, but it is the dances that have a special role as expressions of the liveliest folklore. Dances and their music are the result of the collective imagination and for this reason they have a great social and identity value. In the case of Sant Julià de Lòria, we can find La Passa, the Ball Cerdà and La Marratxa stand out, which take place on the Monday of Festa Major.

La Passa

La Passa is the first traditional demonstration that takes place on the morning Monday of Festa Major.

It is a parade of young couples, all unmarried, that runs through the streets of the village. In front of the parade is the first of the couples who plan to get married during the year, followed by the rest of the couples, starting with the older ones and ending with the younger ones, of way they form a human chain. La Passa ends the tour in the Major square, where the boy from each couple invites the girl to a vermouth and the girl invites him to lunch at her home.

The Ball Cerdà

Once the dancers of the La Passa arrive at the Major square, the cobla (traditional music group) performs the music of the Ball Cerdà.

Older couples or young singles open the dance, and the girls invite the boys to dance with a barretina (traditional red hat). The structure is that of a dance that is danced in pairs, like those that were danced in medieval times and that have been documented since the 18th century.

The dance La Marratxa

Of all the folk and traditional activities of the Festa Major, the dance La Marratxa is the most solemn.

It is held in the Major square on the festive Monday afternoon. This dance is also the one that most evokes the Andorran identity of all those danced at the Festa Major.

La Marratxa is a stately dance that symbolizes the born of co-principality of Andorra. Specifically, it represents the peace treaty of 1278 that was signed between the count of Foix and the bishop of Urgell, the first Pareatge, and which was the genesis of our country.

The dance

The dance consists of two dancers, one married and one single, wearing a top hat adorned with a ribbon colours of the Andorran flag.

Each dancer, representing the two princes, must have three single women shaking hands as a sign of shared and undivided power. The girls represent the six old parishes (currently seven) that made up the Principality. They dance dressed in traditional clothing, with typical pieces of traditional clothing such as the ret (at head), mitenes (at wrists), vigatanes (at feet) or corbata (at shoulders).

The Esbart Laurèdia is in charge of maintaining, organizing and conserving both the dance and the costumes that accompany it.