The Fiesta de San Juan is a special Christian night and is celebrated on the 23rd of June every year, the night before St. John’s day, which is a public holiday in Catalonia and has been highly important for the Catalan people since the 14th century. During the night of the 23rd of June the Catalans celebrate the birth of the preacher and prophet John the Baptist, because he has a close relationship to the summer solstice, which occurs when the tilt of a planet’s semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star that it orbits.
This happens twice each year, at which times the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole. The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight – except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice.
During the Nit de Sant Joan, as the fiesta is known in Catalan, the people celebrate the longest period of daylight during the year with fire, which is an old symbol for the sun and Christ. The ceremony is named after John the Baptist, who said that Jesus would be baptized with “fire and spirit”. The Sant Joan festival or often called night of fire is a special event in some parts of Spain (especially Catalonia) that celebrates the midsummer eve during the evening of 23rd of June every year. This night is one of the biggest, noisiest and craziest parties in Barcelona and is celebrated by the Catalans with fire, fireworks, Cava and cakes.
Oh yes at Linguaschools Barcelona we celebrated San Juan…and we celebrated it the right way! We met at the metro station with a big group, but already lost half of the group on our way to the beach. Fortunately the whole group reunited within an hour. We sat down in the sand, enjoyed the music from the DJ at the chiringuito, watched the fireworks and had a pica pica. When the time was there, we went to the dance floor and showed some great dance moves. So, it’s official now, let the summer begin!!!!