Sant Joan Celebration 2020 in Barcelona
The celebration of Sant Joan day marks the start of the summer. It is the most amazing time in Barcelona. The Sant Joan celebration starts on June 23rd but the actual feast date is on June 24th. It is the most important feast day for Spain and celebrated thought the city of Barcelona .
The idea is that on the night of Sant Joan, the sun reaches its highest point, before beginning to drop. The sun is seen as a symbol of fertility and wealth, and most importantly it must be given strength. The strength is provided by bonfires and fireworks lit throughout the city for Sant Joan. People gather around with families and friends to celebrate in the streets , roof tops , beaches , restaurants and bars. The night is full of parties , fireworks and loud music.
Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, this year the celebrations will be different and at the Sant Joan festival the beaches will be closed. Respectively, that’s for avoiding mass gatherings and possible outbreak of corona-virus cases. Also, the bars on the beaches will be closed on the night of 23rd June 2020. The Sant Joan celebration is allowed this year but in small groups close to home to avoid movement.
Origin of Sant Joan
It is originally a pagan festivity, celebrated as veneration of the sun and beginning of summer solstice. However, the Catholic Church made it coincide with the birth of John the Baptist. This is why the celebration now takes place on the evening of June 23. It is a festival marked by symbolic elements and customs such as : the fire, water , the herbs of Sant Joan, songs, dances and other magic.
The Nit de Sant Joan has long been celebrated in Barcelona, with bonfires at the heart of the festivities. it is a common belief that the flames frighten off and dispel the evil spirits that are on this night. Laws were introduced in the 18th century to curb the spread of fireworks and bonfires in the city. Which suggests that by that time it was already a well-established tradition. Despite the bans and restrictions of the 20th century. The festival has continued to this generation .
About Sant Joan celebration
It is said to be the shortest night of the year and is by its great symbol. Bonfires are invaded in beaches, villages and towns. Family and friends gather to dance around the fire. To lit fireworks and eat the traditional Coca de Sant Joan. The fire is a symbol of pure and energy used to drive evil spirits away.
The Canigo Flame is the flame that remains lit all year. Around in Perpignan’s Castle Tower and it is renewed early on the morning of each June 23rd . The organisation Omnium Cultural is responsible for the arrival of the Flama del Canigo in Barcelona. On the 23rd June evening an event is organised. Which awaits for the torch , and when it arrives with the flame . It is then escorted in the middle of the square, to the strains of Muntanyes del Canigo (Mountains of Canigo). The flame is distributed to the representatives from the different districts .Who then have the job of lighting their respective bonfires.
A night of bonfires, there are so many bonfires and parties happening at the same time in Barcelona. The celebration around are in different forms: suppers, firework displays with devils and dragons, orchestras and bands for entertainment. But they all have cava and coca, the Catalan champagne and sweet bread. Which Sant Joan parties would not be complete without
The coca de Sant Joan is the traditional food for this celebrations. It comes in different ways: some are topped with fruit and pine nuts or crackling. While others have a custard or whipped cream filling. It comes from the cake with eggs that people ate in years ago as a reminder of the sun cult.
Did you know?
This is a night when water, is considered to be a source of virtue and a guarantee of life in rural communities. And it is believed to be full of curative powers. Long ago taking a dip at midnight was a compulsory ritual. And it is still very common along the coast, whether for health reasons or because the temperature, setting and celebration mean people can continue partying in the sea.