The great Festa de la Calçotada de Valls

The calçotada in Valls is a festive, community and promotional event for calçot onions held on the last Sunday in January. In the 20th century, calçots were a staple of winter meals and family gatherings in Valls but it was not until 1940 that the calçotada really took off.

It was then that the Penya Artística de l’Olla, a cultural association in the town, began to invite prominent members of Barcelona’s artistic and cultural scene of the time to publicise this great culinary event. Artists Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró were just two of its distinguished guests.

The great calçotada festival may have changed over the years but the underlying idea stays the same: upholding this deep-seated tradition. The event features parades and all kinds of competitions: for calçot growers and for making the sauce to serve with this type of onion. Visitors can savour the calçots and also pair them with wines from the DO Tarragona wineries at the sales and tasting stands set up for the day.

Culture and traditions are very much in evidence at this event. Every year routes and guided tours are arranged to sites in the town’s historical heritage. Plaça del Blat is the stage for special performances by the two human tower groups: la Vella and la Jove dels Xiquets de Valls.

They say you look up at the sky three times a year in Valls: to admire the highest bell tower in Catalonia, to cheer the small boy or girl called an enxaneta when they crown a tower, and to savour the calçots. So now you’ve got three reasons to enjoy the sky in Valls.