Saint John's Eve, la Revetlla de Sant Joan, it is also called the night of fire, it is a celebration that is all over Catalonia on the 23rd June night that is the shortest night of the year due to being very close to the summer solstice. It is a very special night being the shortest of all and it is the perfect time to spend it with family and friends. The temperature at this time of the year is good to be on the street and enjoy the night!
What is the typical to do in Sant Joan?
There are different typical things to do in Sant Joan and one of them is food, there is a typical Sant Joan's food: coca de Sant Joan. It is a sweet cake called coca that is decorated with crystallised fruit, there are also cocas made with pork-rind and pine nuts, my favorite! If you have never tried it before it might sound awful but it is a sweet kind of pastry and very good! All these lovely pastries, of course, must be polished off with cava or sweet wine and you already have your own Sant Joan!
Cristallized fruit coca by Carlos Lorenzo
If you have never experienced Sant Joan the most typical thing are bonfires, there are bonfires everywhere, mostly at the beach. In Barcelona people gather in the beach, they bring their own dinner and coca and spent the night on the beach and at a certain point of the night you can take a dip.
Bonfires are very close to Sant Joan, it is believed that fire scares spirits that are around Sant Joan's eve. Even Don Quijote made it to Barcelona on that particular night. Bonfires are typical in communities, families and individuals so you will see them around, people gather wooden objects and furniture they don't use to contribute to the bonfire.
Pyrotechnics in Sant Joan
Since XII it seems in Catalonian land there could be no festivity without gunpowder and Sant Joan is no different. Everyone celebrates Sant Joan buying firecrackers of different shapes and intensity. There are lights and noisy petards, so not a good night for poor pets but if you like it noisy is your night. There are also beautiful kind of colourful light palms of fireworks that illuminate the sky.
If you have the chance to be around by Sant Joan it is a great festivity!!