Ou Com Balla 2024: the tradition of making an egg “dance” in Barcelona

Ou Com Balla 2024: the tradition of making an egg

From May 30, 2024, Barcelona will celebrate the “Ou Com Balla”. This event, which has been held since 1637 during the feast of Corpus Christi, consists of making an egg “dance” in the fountains of fountains located in cloisters, courtyards and gardens of the city.

Decorated with flowers and cherries, the egg becomes the center of attention and symbolizes, according to some theories, the Eucharist or fertility and the birth of a new life.

History and meaning of the Ou Com Balla tradition

The origin of “Ou Com Balla” is uncertain, but its roots in Catalan culture are indisputable. According to the most accepted theories, the tradition could symbolize the Eucharist during Corpus Christi or fertility, representing the birth of a new life.

Although the first written reference dates from 1637, it is believed that this custom may have begun much earlier in the cloister of the Cathedral of Barcelona. Today, it is a unique event in the world and a must-see attraction for locals and visitors alike.

The mystery of the dancing egg

How is it possible for an egg to dance? The secret lies in the preparation of the egg: before placing it on the spout, it is emptied and sealed with wax.

When placed over the water jet, the egg begins to spin and dance on the fountain, creating an enchanting visual spectacle. This peculiar tradition not only delights spectators, but also keeps alive an essential part of Barcelona’s cultural heritage.

Due to the drought and the climatic emergency, this year some fountains will not have water and the organizing entities have looked for alternatives to adapt the celebration. Despite these challenges, the “Ou Com Balla” continues to be an event awaited and enjoyed by all.

Places to Watch the Ou Com Balla in 2024

These are some of the main sites where you can enjoy this tradition:

  • Ateneu Barcelonès (C. de la Canuda, 6): Thursday 30, from 11 am to 8 pm.
  • Capitania General (Pg. de Colom, 14): Thursday 30 to Sunday 2, from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm.
  • Jardins de Rubió i Lluch (C. de l’Hospital, 56): From Thursday, May 30 to Sunday, June 2, from 8 am to 8 pm.
  • Barcelona Cathedral (Pla de la Seu, s/n): Thursday 30, from 10 am to 8 pm; Friday 31 and Saturday 1, from 10 am to 1 pm and from 4 to 7 pm; Sunday 2, from 11 am to 2 pm.
  • Museu Frederic Marès (Pl. de Sant Iu, 5): Thursday 30 to Sunday 2, from 10 am to 7 pm.
  • Pati del Museu Marítim (Av. de les Drassanes, s/n): Thursday to Sunday, from 10 am to 8 pm.
  • Col-legi Escolàpies de Llúria (C. Aragó, 302): Wednesday 29 to Friday 31, from 9 to 18 h.
  • Claustre del monestir de Pedralbes (Baixada del Monestir, 9): Thursday and Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm; Saturday, from 10 am to 7 pm; and Sunday, from 10 am to 8 pm. Doors open Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 3 pm to 8 pm.