Professionals, traders, artisans and citizens come together in fairs and markets in Catalonia every week. They are meetings that, above all, facilitate commercial exchange, but throughout history have also served to make new contacts, reach agreements, and to hold religious celebrations.
Most markets grew up around the crossroads of old roads. The receipt of Royal permission to organise a trade fair is synonymous with economic growth of cities and towns.
At fairs such as the Mercat del Ram of Vic or the Fira de la Candelera of Molins de Rei, all kinds of products are sold. On the other hand, trade fairs such as the Santa Llúcia (Christmas) or Sant Ponç (medicinal herbs) are themed.
In fact, the specialisation in specific products became an effective tool for economic, tourist and cultural development. Examples of these are the Fira de l'Avet (Fir tree fair) in Espinelves and the Càntir (a Catalan jug) fair in Argentona.
Modern fairs, as well as cultural and artistic exhibitions (such as the Live Music Theatre in Vic, the Children's and Youths' Theatre Fair in Igualada and the Fira Mediterrània for shows with traditional Mediterranean roots in Manresa), adopt a new image, but the function is maintained: the human, cultural and commercial interaction.