Friday, June 22, 2012

Sant Joan in Barcelona & la Flama del Canigó


Sant Joan/San Juan (Catalan/Spanish) is tomorrow. I heard the celebration of San Juan is a BIG deal here in Barcelona so I had to find out more. I went on to the offical Barcelona web, and they have made a very informative site for San Joan celebrations here.

An important key word is the bonfires. In Norway, it is also common to make bonfires at some beach for the night of the 23rd. It’s nice to see that this is also done in Spain. There will be 12 bonfires spread around Barcelona, here:

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Bonfires are mandatory for a real San Juan-celebration. But I really like the way the bonfires are lit!

First I have to take you to the mountain range of the Pyrenees (between Spain and France), and Canigó, one of the highest peaks (2784m). Every year on June 22nnd, since 1955, a fire is lit at the mountaintop. At midnight, the Flama begins its journey to light San Juan bonfires all over Catalunya (the autonomous community). According to Wikipedia, a total of 30000 bonfires are lit with the flame of the Canigó, La Flama del Canigó

The flame actually never dies. It is kept alive all year long in a museum in Perpignan in southern France (Mueso de la Casa Solariega) until it’s brought up to the peak of Canigó on June 22nd.

So… the flame arrives Barcelona at 19:30h to Plaza Sant Jaume, after passing through different city streets on its way. This is already a big party! (Follow the flame at Av. Diagonal - av. del Doctor Marañón - ctra. de Sants - Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes -  la Rambla - pg. de Colom and c. de Pau Claris.)

Then after some speeches and some entertainment, the flames will be distributed to various torches and teams responsible to light all the 12 bonfires in the city. 

See the little video of the whole process of the Flama del Canigó, and see why I say this is so special!



There are fireworks. There are petardos (firecrackers?), and there is a special cake to be eaten on San Juan, the coca. I think this is a local, Catalan tradition. There are many different kinds and with different fillings, but if they are anything like the Coca de Chocolate I tasted in Sitges at the Fira de Corpus, count me in!!


And as if this wasn’t enough. Salsera as I am, I have to tell you about this salsa event taking place down at the beach, Barceloneta, on the night of San Juan. There will be workshops, shows and a big salsa party. Dancing salsa at the beach a warm summer night sounds close to perfection if you ask me!

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What are you plans for San Juan? Will you celebrate it?
I would love to hear how San Juan is celebrated in different countries!

11 comments:

  1. Bål er jo SÅ hyggelig! Er fra Kragerø, og der er det stort bål på en liten øy hver St. Hans. Koselig å tøffe rundt i båt og bli litt røykforgiftet mens man ser på;-)

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    1. Høres veldig koselig ut å tøffe rundt i båt og bli røykforgifta fra et svært sankt-hans-bål på en hyggelig liten øy i skjærgården!

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  2. Brilliant post! If you don't mind I will just put a link to your blog on my one so people can read about San Juan! If it was tango on the beach I'd be tempted but really - salsa and warm evening and the sea - I can see the pull of that.

    Have a great night!

    Kate x

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    1. Please feel free to link to my post! Will you celebrate la verbena de Sant Joan? I love how the flame is carried from Canigó to light bonfires all over Catalunya. Have a great night you too! xx

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  3. Det så utrolig gøy ut, alt sammen !
    Jeg drar hjem 3. juli, så 11 dager igjen ! Hvor lenge blir du i Spania egentlig ?

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    1. Da må du kose deg maximalt de siste 11 dagene! Jeg har ingen utløpsdato, jeg :) Blir så lenge jeg føler for det! Hihi

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    2. Takk ! Å, så deilig, du får kose deg masse du også !

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  4. Høres ut som en flott feiring! Kan jeg spørre deg om du har kjøpt leilighet i Spania, eller bare leier du? Vurderer å kjøpe lengre sør i Spania etterhvert ( men er vel egentlig akkurat NÅ man burde slå til...)

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    1. Hei Line, jeg har ikke kjøpt. Jeg kikket på muligheten men ble sjokkert over prisene her! Prisen på en leilighet her er høyere enn der hjemme, og det overrasker meg med tanke på hvor lave lønningene er i forhold, økonomisk krise osv. (Barcelona er en av de dyreste byene også da) Det meste er billigere i sør, men jeg vet ikke hvordan boligpriser er. Jeg vil tro at pga krisen, er det et godt tidspunkt å slå til på, for det er "ingen" som kjøper boliger for tiden.

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  5. I love bonfires - unfortunately we had a lot of rain this weekend so didn't make it out to any of the beach ones that I heard about nearby.

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