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Festival of St John: Night of Fire & Witches

Since pre-Roman times, the arrival of the summer solstice has been a motive for celebration. We mark this astronomical phenomenon by lighting magical bonfires that “give strength to the sun” in its path towards the winter solstice and to keep away the spirits that come out in the shortest night of the year.

In Catalonia, the first day of summer (23rd June) coincides with the Festival of Sant Joan. La Revetlla de Sant Joan, also known as la Nit de les Bruixes (Night of Witches) or la Nit del Foc (Night of Fire) is a popular and magical celebration that evokes ancient festivals that honored the sun.

La Nit del Foc (Noche del Fuego): En nuestros días, es habitual celebrar reuniones familiares o participar en fiestas populares alrededor de una hoguera para conmemorar la llegada del verano. En todas las fiestas, la noche se llena de luz, color y sonido, gracias a los fuegos artificiales, petardos y cohetes que niños y mayores lanzan sin descanso hacia un cielo mágico y misterioso. En todas las mesas ocupa un lugar destacado un plato típico de la repostería tradicional catalana, la “Coca de Sant Joan”.

Night of Fire (Nit del Foc): In modern times, we celebrate parties and participate in festivals around a bonfire to commemorate the arrival of summer. The festival fills the night with light, color and sound, thanks to fireworks and firecrackers that children and adults launch incessantly into the magical and mysterious sky. La Coca de Sant Joan, a traditional Catalan pastry, can be found on every table.

Night of Witches (Nit de Bruixes): It is said that on the Night of Sant Joan, witches and druids (Akelarre) gather all over the region to strengthen and develop their magical and extraordinary powers. At these gatherings, the witches distribute their elixirs and love potions. According to popular legend, the angel of love comes out this night only, striking people into love with his bow and arrow.

This is, without question, a night of mystery and mysticism. Don’t miss this magical night!

  • Sant Joan, the Night of Fire
    Platges de Barcelona
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