jueves, 27 de marzo de 2008

[[..Saint John's Festivity..]]

San Juan's night is full of bonfires, fireworks, music, dancing, sardines and bread. It's the welcome to summer, and its celebration takes place during the shortest night of the year.Many towns, cities or villages celebrate this first Summer Fiesta. All the celebrations share some things in common, yet each also has its peculiarity. In cities and towns, particularly those close to the sea, the celebration is very important. Lalín, in Galicia, celebrates O Corpiño, during which people touch an image to botar fora o meigallo, to take out bad things.
In Alicante's Fogueres de Sant Joan, two hundreds bonfires burn all over the city during the night. In Palamós and Roses (Girona), fireworks and bonfires are made on the beach, while in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the people build bonfires of waste products, and after the burn, bathe in the sea, which they have filled with fruits and flowers.Bonfires, fire and water are the protagonists of the night. Men and women, young people and children, all dedicate their days and afternoons to the preparation of bonfires. According to tradition, if people jump three times over a bonfire on San Juan's night, they will be cleansed and purified, and their problems burned away.
Every year St John's Day (Sant Joan) is celebrated throughout Spain with an explosion of bonfires and fireworks and a colourful array of concerts and dances. Catalonians celebrate in their idiosyncratic way and Barcelon.
The festivity takes place the night before Saint John's Day, and during the short nights of the summer solstice. It is a long-standing tradition that combines fun with aspects of Catalonian identity. Old furniture is bundled onto bonfires in the villages and towns throughout the region, the fire acting as a purifier and curative element. At first, this was a rite celebrated in the main village square that brought everyone together round the fire. Nowadays fireworks are also an integral part.
For the past 50 years or so in Catalonia, the flama del Canigó (Canigó flame - an emblematic mountain in the Pyrenees) has been part of the celebration. From the top of this mountain, the flames spread throughout the region as fires are lit in each community.

The flame has contributed to a new vision of the celebration and signifies Catalan unity and identity.
The most enjoyable part of the Noche de Sant Joan are the verbenas (open-air celebrations) that last from sunset on 23 June to sunrise on 24 June. As well as in each village, there are various places in Barcelona where they take place. The main ones are in Eixample, Ciutat Velha, Sants-Montjuic, Les Corts, Sarná Gervasi, Horta Guinardó, Nou Barris, Sant Andrea and Sant Martí. Alongside the bonfire and fireworks there are stages, concerts, dances and, of course, the eating of the traditional sweet cocas.a is one of the most spectacular places to join in the fun.