Phylloxera Festival destroys giant robot insect

It’s all about destroying the giant insect Credit: Ajuntament Sant Sadurni d'Anoia

Yet another unique and very enjoyable event in Spain is the Phylloxera Festival which takes place in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia (Penedes Catalonia) on September 7 and 8 each year.

Catalonia devastated by plague of insects

It is held to mark the fact that at the end of the 19th century, the Catalan wine-growing regions suffered a major social and economic crisis due to the phylloxera, a tiny but enormously prolific insect that in the same years devastated vineyards all over Europe.

Unlike other diseases which only affected grapes on the vine, the arrival of this deadly insect saw entire vineyards literally wiped out.

It was only in 1982, that a band of locals decided to host what was then known as the Phylloxera Show and since then it has grown spectacularly.

The cast for the 2024 event
Credit: Festadelafiloxera X

Now in its 43rd year

Now in its 43rd year, the festival sees 230 adults all dressed in bright yellow follow a giant moving insect which they eventually destroy with the application, over the two days, of more than 4,500 fireworks.

There is a parade of the so called Seven Wise Men of Greece, a group of vineyard owners who decided to restock the land with vines imported from North America which were resistant to the insect and they are represented by seven giants.

Seven Wise Men of Greece keep a watch on the event
Credit: Penedes Tourism

Why Catalonia produces so much cava

It is thanks to their efforts that the new grapes were mainly suited to light wines which is why so much cava is bottled in Catalonia as well as rosé in Penedes.

As with many Spanish festivals, wine (at least 200 bottles), music (at least 100 musicians) and dancing form a major part of the fun and it is even possible for visitors to pre-order and enjoy a very inexpensive lunch box containing food and a small bottle of cava.

Kids aren’t left out

The children’s festival
Credit: Penedes Tourism

Due to the volume of potentially dangerous fireworks, the children have their own somewhat less hazardous parade and no less than 240 of them take part, also dressed in yellow.

Great fun is had by all and the region continues to produce large volumes of cava and wine.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page