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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Sant Joan – snap, crackle and pop!
The Sant Joan festival otherwise known as the “Nit de Sant Joan” refers to St John’s Night or St. John’s Eve. It marks the midsummers eve that takes place the evening of the 23rd June. Midsummer solstice is a tradition from ancient times. The summer solstice was considered the most important event of the solar year in ancient times. Fire was celebrated on this day as the symbol of abundance, purity and fertility and up until now, it continues to be a central part of the festivities with fireworks and bonfires. Sant Joan is one of the most exciting, loudest and craziest events of the year and fireworks will be heard non-stop so brace yourselves. Other traditions include cocas, cava, water and fiesta, read below to find out why.
What to expect?
There will be fire, and lots of it. The Catalanes don’t call it ‘Nit del Foc’ (meaning the ‘Night of Fire’) for nothing. Traditionally bonfires are lit to give strength to the sun, as it was believed that the sun was losing strength from this night until it reaches the winter solstice because the days became shorter. Many plazas and bars will put on their own displays and you can definitely expect lots of activity by the beach. We’d go as far as saying take care, health and safety kind of goes out the window if you head to the beach where groups of friends congregate, enjoy drinks, bring picnics, play music and then set off fireworks.
Water plays quite an important part of Sant Joan, as traditionally on the eve of Sant Joan you have the opportunity to wash your sins in water – representing the baptism of Sant John. The water is also known to have healing properties, so if you see someone going for a late swim they may have another agenda.
La Coca de Sant Joan – is a dessert which enjoyed at Sant Joan and is normally accompanied with a glass or two of cava. They are bread based cakes that you will see in bakery windows throughout the city, you may even see some creative ones to celebrate Sant Joan. You will find a variety of sweet and savoury ones to choose from, with some containing cream, to others more plain with just the aniseed flavour and you can even find some coques with pine nuts.
Sant Joan is known to be a big tradition marking the beginning of summer, good vibes and time with friends and families. We are pretty sure that you would’ve seen anything like it before. and that you’ll have a memorable experience should you decide to join in the fun.
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