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Celebrating San Juan in Barcelona

San Juan night is considered the shortest night of the year. In Catalonia and Barcelona, it is a holiday characterised by different festivity acts and activities for the whole family. A good example of this are the bonfires and fireworks in the streets. 

Discos and nightclubs organise all kinds of events so evening entertainment is guaranteed.

The beginning of summer

Sant Joan feast begins its celebrations on the evening of June 23rd and continue on the following day, June 24th, which is considered the longest day of the year.

June 24th is technically known as the Summer Solstice, when the sun reaches its highest level. Metaphorically speaking, the sun is the source of wealth and fertility so to help it with this task, all kinds of bonfires and fireworks are handed out on the night of San Juan.

Barcelona - sant-joan-barcelona.jpg

Foto: © Carquinyol (Flickr)

The symbols

At this festival, three natural symbols are recognised: fire, water and herbs. As we can see, fire is the symbol associated with the sun, positive energy and purity. Water is associated with natural healing and warding off all kinds of evils. Herbs are natural medicines. 

The Barceloneta beach

San Juan night is the night of the fire in Barcelona. What stands out most are the fireworks. The shops selling fireworks are open throughout the city and offer a wide variety of firework products.

It is also customary for the large balconies to be filled with people who want to have the best views of everything that happens on this magical night. The Barceloneta beach is the must-see place. In addition, it is the best time for a nightly swim.

On the evening of the day before, many groups of people come with picnic baskets in order to celebrate with fireworks and even play music with their own drums and other instruments. 

Time to have a good bite to eat

Along the beach of Barceloneta there are a number of bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy the best gastronomy and prepare your stomach for what will be a long night.

What are the most typical sweets sold at the San Juan feast? The most representative food is "Coca". These are cakes that are made throughout the bakeries in the city of Barcelona. They come in sweet or salty versions. Their ingredients include crisps, nuts, fruits and cream with a touch of anise.

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