Sant Narcís & the flies: a legend in Girona

If you know something about the Catalan culture and traditions you will surely have already heard about some of the miracles or any of the legends known about Sant Narcís and the city of Girona. Being today the festivity of Sant Narcís, when Girona celebrates its main local festivity, we want to dig into the origin of some of the most... View Article


If you know something about the Catalan culture and traditions you will surely have already heard about some of the miracles or any of the legends known about Sant Narcís and the city of Girona.

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Being today the festivity of Sant Narcís, when Girona celebrates its main local festivity, we want to dig into the origin of some of the most popular idioms that are said in Catalunya these dates.

” Per Sant Narcís, cada mosca val per sis “
(For Sant Narcís, each fly is worth six)

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Says the legend that the French army entered Catalunya and started burning and destroying whatever they find on their way. But in Girona, the whole town was waiting for them locked inside the walls, ready to fight for their piece of land. The Army started occupying the neighbourhoods that were outside the city walls, including the Church of Sant Feliu, where laid the tomb of Sant Narcís. Trying to discourage the citizens, the French opened the tomb of the Saint and started spreading its remains over the streets. A carpenter who saw what happened, picked all the remains and put them into a wooden tomb that he himself made.

That same day, thousands of flies came out from that wooden tomb and went straight to the French campsite, attacking soldiers and horses, causing their departure from the surroundings of Girona. The Army of Sant Narcís saved the city!

Relating to this legend we can also find another idiom ” Les mosques, per Sant Narcís, a cada picada en maten sis“, (the flies for Sant Narcís, for each sting they kill six), although this one is less known.

What it is true is that the flies are specially tiresome these days. On one side, we are already tired of them, and for the other they already feel the cold that is inevitably coming.

” Sant Narcís s’emporta les mosques “
(Sant Narcís takes the flies)

The popular culture reviews the legend and fill Catalan people with hope, including idioms such as “Sant Narcís s’emporta les mosques” (Sant Narcís takes the flies), as a reference to the “great cold for Sant Narcís” that should happen these days and definitely kill the flies, until the next summer. It doesn’t seem this year Sant Narcís will come to take the flies, nor the great cold is about to arrive.

But this is not the only story or legend known about Sant Narcís. It is said that in the carrer de les Mosques (flies street) in Girona, we can see on the largest window of an old majestic house the known as “footprint of Sant Narcís” that he himself left while running away from some of his prosecutors, but looking on the opposite side, to fool them.

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Which story, legend or idiom have you heard about Sant Narcís? Do you know its origin? You can share it with us on FacebookTwitter or Google + We are waiting for your pictures! Instagram

And remember that Girona will be celebrating its festivity until Sunday the 2nd November. Check our agenda to see all the activities scheduled.
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