Just like in other cities around the world, Barcelona is a place that has different celebrations all over the year. One of those is the Bonfires of Sant Joan, which is the perfect occasion for tourists to watch a celebration that everyone loves. In case you are in Barcelona city and you want to have some extra fun, this is the opportunity to do it.
Take a step forward and join one of the best activities in the city of Barcelona in this traditional festival!.
The history behind the Bonfires of Sant Joan Barcelona
Going to Barcelona and not participating in one of its most historical activities is something that you won’t forgive in the future. The Bonfires of Sant Joan is one of the most traditional festivals that people, especially Barcelona tourists, can enjoy.
The history behind it started a while back. People might have heard among Christians about it with another name. In case you want to know which one is the other name, we are talking about Midsummer’s Eve, but in Barcelona city, the name of the festival is Las Hogueras de Sant Joan or La Noche de San Juan. (Sant Joan in Catalonian and San Juan in Spanish, no mystery)
This celebration has roots in what we already mentioned: Midsummer’s Eve. Back in the days, people used to light bonfires to protect themselves from evil spirits roaming freely through the world those days. Some years after that, people also said that it was an effective way to protect themselves from witches who were meeting with other demonic beings.
The tradition was kept during the following years, and nowadays, the Bonfires of Sant Joan is one of the activities that tourists in Barcelona cannot miss.
When do the Bonfires of Sant Joan celebration take place?
If you want to tour Barcelona and enjoy the celebration of Sant Joan, then you must be there before June 23rd. That’s the day when one of the most magical celebrations in Barcelona takes place.
The celebration itself starts on the 19th of June, but it keeps going through the days and the main event, for saying it so, happens during the 23rd of June at night. If you are looking for activities in Barcelona, now you know you can spend a day enjoying the Sant Joan celebration.
If you have the chance to enjoy the Bonfires of Sant Joan you will see that there are some things that you might find interesting in the celebration. These I´ll mention are mostly in Alicante in Valencian Community:
- Clothes: One of the most peculiar things about this celebration is the clothes that people tend to wear. The clothes are one of the most representative ways and depending on the sex, they might vary. Paying attention to them while having a Barcelona tour is something that you can’t miss. For example, the Núvia alacantina uses bands in her hair, carries a fan with her, uses a long skirt, and wears black heels. The Llabradora uses a white apron, a waist made with different colors, a manteletea, white stocks, and black heels. The Zaragüelles uses a scarf, a cotton white shirt, some trousers called “Zaragüelles”, and shoes called espardenyes.
- Art: Saying art might be confusing as it is a word with tons of different meanings. But in the case of the Bonfires of Sant Joan, the art comes from the bonfires themselves. Commissioners who participate in the celebration will try to shock everyone who’s there, especially Barcelona’s tourists. Bonfires are made with wood, cardboard, mud, and paintings, the style will depend on the artist, but they tend to vary in colors, size, and what they want to represent with them.
- Beauty: One of the most emblematic elements in the Bonfires Beauty is a woman who will represent the festival as a queen. People will choose two beauties, an adult woman and a child, which have a special representation in the Bonfires.
Where can you attend to celebrate Sant Joan?
Normally people gather at the beach where you can enjoy fireworks and firecrackers, but that´s a more touristic activity or for people that are not originally from Catalonia. The locals normally gather at their homes and have a bbq or any activity involving an outdoor party. They enjoy a dessert that´s called “Coca de San Juan” which consists of some sort of puff pastry stuffed with a caramel sweet..tasty I must say.
Will you attend the Bonfires of Sant Joan?
We are a few days ahead of one of the most important celebrations in the city! If you are looking for activities in Barcelona or what to do in Barcelona, this is the perfect chance for you.
Be part of the Bonfires of Sant Joan and say hello to the midsummer with a magical experience.
Thanks so much for your time, I hope you are as excited to enjoy Sant Joan as much as I am.
I show on Instagram how it went.
See you in my next post!