The night of San Juan is a Christian holiday of pagan origin with bonfires, fireworks and firecrackers. Although celebrated the night of 23rd to 24th of June, it is associated with the summer solstice (June 21) and pagan rites, with bonfires, sought to increase the power of the sun on its way to the winter solstice. The fire, in turn, was serving as a purifying function in people who watched it. If you see a fire, stop and look at it.
Today we speak of verbena de San Juan more than the night of San Juan because the protagonist is the party. It´s not just one festival , many are held in public or private premises, private homes, in the streets and on the beaches of Barcelona. Days before the June 23rd the first firecrackers are heard: these are mostly children and young people who can not wait for the night of 23rd. And in the festival of San Juan who buy their firecrackers and fireworks are the locals, and make them explode during the whole night.
The bonfires are built by neighbors with all kind of wood and old furniture. You will find fires in many squares and on the beaches, and if you decide to buy firecrackers or fireworks there are stalls in many places in Barcelona.
And finally, we celebrate it with a good bite of coca cakes de San Juan and a glass of cava, the typical food and drink in the shortest (or almost) night of the year.
The Flama (flame) of Canigó
From June 22 to 23 a ritual related to the bonfires of the Night of San Juan is celebrated, although its origin and evolution had, and has to do, with the will to keep Catalan culture alive. The fire of the Canigó Flame never goes out; it remains in the Castellet de Perpignan until June 22 it moves to the Canigó summit. At midnight, the fire is distributed among a chain of volunteers who will take it to the Catalan-speaking towns, where it is traditional to light bonfires on the Night of San Juan. Each city and town organizes the reception of the Flame in its own way, but part of the ritual is shared: before lighting the bonfires, a common message is read to remember the meaning of the initiative. In Barcelona the fire of the Flame reaches the Plaza de Sant Jaume and from there it is distributed to the neighborhoods of Barcelona to light all the bonfires in the city.
- 5:00 p.m. Departure of the Flame from Camp Nou to Plaça de Sant Jaume. Route: Arístides Maillol street, Riera Blanca, Creu Coberta, Plaza de Espanya, Gran Via, Plaza de la Universitat, Pelai street, La Rambla, Paseo de Colom, Via Laietana and Jaume I street.
- 5:45 p.m. Welcome party for the Flame in Plaça de Sant Jaume.
- 6:00 p.m. Arrival of the Flame of Canigó in Plaça de Sant Jaume and lighting of the cauldron. Pillar of honor of the Castellers of Barcelona.
- 6:05 p.m. Dances of the Eagle, the Capgrossos Macers and the Giants of the City.
- 6:15 p.m. Reading of this year's Flame message.
- 6:45 p.m. Cast of the Flame.
Verbenas and bonfires of the Night of San Juan of 2022
This year there will be bonfires and festivals of San Juan in more than 30 spaces in the districts of Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Sants - Montjuïc, Gràcia, Sarrià - Sant Gervasi, Horta Guinardó, Sant Andreu, Sant Martí and Nou Barris. At the moment none have been organized in the district of Les Corts, but it is possible that in the next few hours one or more in that district will appear on the list. In addition to festivals and bonfires, in some districts they organize other activities such as coca de San Juan and ratafías workshops, havanera singing or coca and cava raffles.
Remember that the metro will run all night.