Summer has finally arrived in Barcelona and the beaches are crowded as ever. But this weekend will most probably top every normal day at the local beaches like San Sebastian, Nova Icaria, Bogatell, Marbella, etcetera. Why? Because the feast of Sant Joan is taking place on June 23-24!
Summer Solstice, the shortest night of the year, is celebrated in Catalonia like a public holiday! Therefore, this weekend will be full of parties everywhere in the city, with people gathering at the beaches and plazas to celebrate the event with fireworks and drinks.
So this weekend, the official start of the summer will be celebrated and this is one of the most important holidays for Catalans, although it is also celebrated in Galicia and other regions. The sun, reaching its highest point and consequently dropping, is considered a symbol of fertility and strength. Other symbols of Sant Joan are fire, herbs and water. This is why fireworks are cracked, many people go to the beach and swim in the sea, and people think that the healing process works faster that night.
Apart from fireworks, another tradition is eating ‘coca’, a sweet bread with fruits and nuts, and to drink plenty of cava. Approximately 1,630,000 Sant Joan cocas will be eaten in Catalonia!
In order to ensure public safety, about 3,500 Mossos d’Esquadra will be working on Sant Joan, which is a 24,45% increase comparing to last year.
After the main festival on Saturday night, more than 300 workers will clean the beaches of Barcelona! If you are going to attend, make sure to make the work of those applaudable cleaners easier and take your own waste where it belongs!
Happy Nit del Foc, everyone!
By Laura Kabelka