It is celebrated in honour of Saint Miquel (29th September) and begins on the neighbourhood’s main festival. Although it is also held on the following Saturday, when the children have a school holiday.
Parades. General Lagarto, a Napoleonic general (now also accompanied by a Napoleonic Tadpole) shoots out cannon shots of sweets, which children pick up from the ground in an uproar. This year, for the first time, the Lizard General was a woman.
Origin of the tradition: Pancraç Farell, a very involved and active neighbour of the neighbourhood, discovered a similar tradition in his wife’s French summer village and imported it.
The cannon was guarded by the rector of the parish of Sant Miquel. That is why it is a tradition to shout “Mr. Rector, let’s blow up the cannon”, both when the children go to the church to demand the start of the parade and afterwards to demand the “sweet shots” of sweets.
In La Vanguardia, on 2 October 1915, we find this surprising piece of news, which reports a very significant event in the neighbourhood.
“However, many people have been upset because yesterday morning a man dressed in the costume of an admiral fired a canon followed by a large number of children who, hearing the shots, “played the victims” and shouted in a rowdy manner. The festival committee asks us to make it public that it has nothing to do with such a scene, and I know for a fact that it does not appear in the official programme of festivities.”
Indeed, it talks about the cannon and its first shot. As you can read, it was a joke made by two neighbours from the neighbourhood. Faced with the situation, the institutions were overwhelmed, both by the children, who liked it very much, and by the neighbours who complained. But that’s another story…