Feast of Sant Joan
If you are in Barcelona for the Feast of Sant Joan be prepared for a very late night with loads of fireworks in the streets and parties around every corner. The Spanish take the Feast of Sant Joan, or the celebration of the Summer Solstice, very seriously. It is a Bank Holiday and there is no way you will be able to miss the party.
It is called the Nit del Foc, or Night of Fire, as fire is seen as a symbol of purity and you can expect to see loads of bonfires and fireworks in the streets. One of the more unusual activities is jumping over the bonfires, which is said to bring good luck if you do it 3 times.
The locals will be organising their own parties with groups of families coming together to eat, drink and watch the fireworks from their balcony. But they often head down to the beach later in the evening to join the throng there.
Many of the bars and restaurants along the beach front set out more chairs and tables, and crank up the sound system for the extra customers who get in a good meal before the party. The celebrations usually start around sunset and finish at sunrise the following morning. It is a good idea to get to the beach early and stack some ground for yourself as it gets pretty busy later on.
The traditional foods for the festival are the “Coca de Sant Joan”, which are little bread cakes topped with pine nuts and sweet candies; and cava. You will see the cakes in bakeries throughout the city in the run up to the festival.
The whole evening is very loose and relaxed there are no “official” city events so just head out onto the streets with some food and drink and enjoy the crazy party atmosphere at the beach.