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The five-day celebration of the Patum 2022 festival in Berga has seen an outpouring of pro-independence enthusiasm. With the main square in the central Catalan town packed with about 6,000 people, a strong chant of independencia resounded, returning to a tradition that existed before the pandemic interrupted the festival. A massive version of the estelada, the Catalan independence flag, was also unfurled, bringing the demands for the creation of the Catalan Republic into the event that UNESCO has recognized as one of humanity's "cultural masterpieces". The Patum of this 2022, which began on Wednesday, June 15th and continues until Sunday, June 19th, is expected to be crowded after two years in a row in which its celebration was impossible. 


The magic of the Patum is centred on a series of dances involving elaborate-constructed mystical and imaginary figures, which take place over five days in June. This Thursday at noon, the Patum de Lluïment was held, the Patum "gala" in which all the groups participate except the so-called Plens, which only go out at night, with all groups dancing consecutively and then reaching the climax in the Tirabols dance. In the evening, the most popular and most popular part of the Berga festival was held, the Patum Completa, which this year has the participation of the Cobla Pirineu and filled the square with people to enjoy the dances of the troupes and the Tirabols.

Concerts cancelled by judicial order

However, a part of the Patum has been suspended again - after a Barcelona judge ruled that concerts in the town's Plaça Cim d'Estela on Friday and Saturday could not take place due to a complaint from a senior citizens' care home. The mayor of Berga, Iván Sánchez, had promised on Thursday that "the concerts of the Patum will take place, whether they end at four in the morning or at one o'clock" and, in any case, they would be adapted "to the schedule decided by a judge from Barcelona". The judge had ordered the precautionarily suspension of the Patum concerts in the Plaça Cim d'Estela Square, or at least, their rescheduling so that they ended at 1am. The mayor made his statements on the biggest day of the Patum and asked for people to focus on the day: "We have been working all year - for this day - and it is currently the most important thing for us."

The Berga Residencial care home's complaint called for the concerts to be suspended because they will exceed the 80 decibel level allowed. The judge suggested that the concerts end at around 1 am. However, the usual night-time schedule at the festival means that the concerts are followed by DJs and the music would be expected to end around 5am. In the end it appeared that all the concerts at the Plaça Cim d'Estela would be suspended by the judge.

The Berga council and the associations involved in the Patum were to meet on Friday evening to decide how to address the ban, as newspaper Nació Digital reported. The mayor of the municipality, Ivan Sànchez, considered that the court ruling opens a door that is "a little dangerous, not for Berga, but for any town in Catalonia" when it is celebrating its local festes.