Something that a lot of people don't know is that the Tree Festival is a Catalan initiative dating back over 100 years.
Due to the alarming deforestation suffered by Catalonia towards the end of the 19th century, the forestry engineer Rafael Puig i Valls promoted an innovative project whereby schools, supported by local governments and political and social establishments, with children as protagonists, became the true pioneers of a new society concerned about its environment.
The 1st educational Tree Festival was held in Sant Joan de les Abadesses in the year 1899.
In the year 1900, a proposal made by Puig i Valls to hold a Tree Festival in all European countries was unanimously accepted at the First International Forestry Congress. It was Alfonso XIII, by royal decree, who ordered the festival to be held in all villages and schools of the Spanish state.
Viladrau was the first municipality in Catalonia to celebrate the centenary of the Tree Festival. Since then, it has been held every year, without interruption.
The school, the school's parents' association, the local government, the school of music and other associations in the village all work together to organise the Viladrau Tree Festival. In line with the philosophy with which it was created, the Viladrau tree festival combines educational and recreational activities:
- An educational excursion to work on environmental issues concerning our forests
- Educational work in the classroom and the publication of a leaflet on the work of the students
- Educational and cultural festival with the participation of local people and visitors: speeches, distribution of the published leaflet, cultural activities, musical shows, plantings and vermouth. A complete Tree Festival.
According to tradition, the Viladrau Tree Festival is held during the weekend closest to the 23rd of March.