Something exciting is always going on in Spain's incredible city of Barcelona, and it's especially festive for those who plan their vacation to coincide with the eventful weekend of June 23-24, 2018. That's when the official observance of the Feast of Sant Joan takes place, and all of Barcelona comes out during this time to welcome the beginning of a brand new season of summer with numerous celebrations throughout the city and something fun found around every corner. It's one of Barcelona's best party weekends of the year, and it's never too early to start planning your summer stay in this amazing city.
About the Feast of Sant Joan
This celebration takes place each year during the Summer Solstice, which boasts both the longest day of the entire year and the shortest night. It's a significant holiday in Catalan history because it represents the time that the sun is at its highest point, and that is important because the sun is looked upon as a strong symbol of both wealth and fertility. While most people today simply come out to enjoy the party, the celebrations were once held to strengthen the sun with the many fireworks and bonfires so that the people would be better blessed with more children and more money. Traditionally, this is also the time of the year that people believe that the sea water and any herbs planted in the area have magical healing properties, so feel free to join in these rituals with the locals. You might just leave without that achy back or tennis elbow that has been bothering you for ages.
Ways to Celebrate
The celebrations are held throughout the night on Saturday, and you'll have no trouble finding your way to the party. Street parties are absolutely everywhere with great bonfires and plenty of dancing, traditional foods and flowing alcohol, and you'll only need to follow your eyes and ears to find the many displays of fireworks. Most of the Catalan population refers to this night as the Night of Fire, and visitors are encouraged to join in. Stands selling fireworks pop up all over the city, and you're welcome to purchase your own fireworks to bring to the party or for your own celebration.
At the Beach
One of the best spots for celebrating Sant Joan is at Barceloneta Beach, but you'll need to show up early if you want a spot because it fills up extremely fast. Many people arrive in the early afternoon with a picnic lunch and plenty of wine to see them through the night, and musicians and drummers show up as the day goes on to provide the crowd with some incredible live music before night falls and the fireworks begin. The bonfire at Barceloneta Beach is always among the biggest in the city as is the fireworks show. If you get too warm on the beach, then you can always take a stroll to one of the many beach bars for a cool drink and some more great music.
At the Restaurants
Every restaurant in Barcelona takes advantage of this popular holiday to offer something special to its customers, and you'll see brightly colored decorations and extra tables and chairs in front of those restaurants that are near the beach. Reservations are always a good idea, and you can often see the fireworks from your comfortable spot at the restaurant. Keep in mind that while the day of the feast isn't until Sunday, most restaurants close for the holiday and offer the traditional holiday meal on Saturday instead.
In the Neighborhoods
Each neighborhood in Barcelona puts on its own version of the celebration, so you can find fun wherever you may be in the city. This usually involves the locals dressing up in elaborate costumes to lead the party, get the bonfire going and set off a fabulous display of fireworks.
At Your Vacation Residence
Those lodging with us here at Exceptional Stays may choose to enjoy the festivities from their vacation residence. Several of our city rentals come with large balconies that allow you to see the fireworks without fighting the crowds, and those who choose a rental with a private chef may expect a special holiday feast to commemorate this important day. You may also pick one of our rentals that allows for an easy walk to the main festivities.