Open-air dances, fireworks, firecrackers, bonfires at the beach, swimming in the sea at midnight under the moon... those are just a few of the traditional things you can enjoy in Saint John's eve (23rd June).
© Image by Tobias Toft
Saint John's eve is a very important day in the Catalan culture, and it is celebrated accross the region in many different ways. It is related to the Christian festivity of this saint, but it has its origins in the pagan festivities for the summer's equinox. It is a cult to the sun and celebrates the lengthening of the days.
You can find open-air dances in every town, and family, friends and neighbours meet for dinner, to light bonfires or firecrackers and enjoy the traditional Coca de Sant Joan (Saint John's cake) with some cava.
© Image by D. Bravo
Here you will find several bonfires at the beach, that have a very important presence in this night, as the tradition says that the flames chase away the bad spirits, and if you jump over them, the traditions says that you will be protected for the whole year.
Water is another important element in this night: traditionally if you have a bath in the sea at midnight, you'll have good health the whole year, or if you jump 9 waves with your back towards the sea, you'll get rid of the bad energies increase fertility in case you're a woman. Also, in other regions in southern Spain, they say that if you wash your face at midnight in the sea, you will keep your beauty for the whole year (as long as you don't look yourself in a mirror until the next day!).
Those are ancient traditions for this magical night, maybe the spells will work or maybe they not, but you'll have fun if you try! ;)