Aplec del Caragol
The Aplec del Caragol ('Snail Gathering') is
celebrated at the end of May. Declared a Traditional Festival
of National Interest, it attracts more people than any other city
festival and is one of the most important celebrations combining
leisure and cookery in Catalunya.
For three days Camps Elisis welcome about 10,000 inhabitants of Lleida grouped in about a hundred "penyes" who, in their respective pieces of ground, focus their gathering on eating 12 tones of snails altogether. Some original competitions like the snail races or more traditional ones like the tug of war rope and the constant presence of brass bands give a cheerful ambience which spreads through the whole city; thousands of curious visitors from the most different places come to the gathering. The "penyes" parade, on the last day, is really colourful. During the previous week, the "penyes" organise several cultural events.
Visitors can go to a restaurant area in the festival grounds that offers various menus, as well as the opportunity to try snails cooked in different ways at low prices.