Partying the Catalan way – explosive fiesta of Sant Joan

Sant Joan – (Catalan fiesta) is a feast I still don’t get it. It just does not want to properly enter my head that it is commonly accepted to throw petards at people, cars, buildings etc or set up huge fires everywhere. Seriously EVERYWHERE.

This year I spent Sant Joan in Barcelona, looking at the fireworks from the very top of Montjuic mountain. It was my friend’s idea and it was brilliant! Thanks for that Kamila :) The view was amazing. Barcelona by night is incredible but during the fireworks night, it was just spectacular.

So we where sitting the four of us, in Mountjuic bushes, watching the sky over the beautiful city, being happy we live in such a great place and that…. we are looking at this from the top.

Fiesta- petardasThe thing is that none of us felt comfortable in downtown. It was noisy and you never knew from which direction the petard will get you. We felt terrified! We were driving the car through the city with all the windows and doors securely closed. You can easily tellĀ  we are foreigners. In Poland you are not allowed to touch fireworks before you turn 18. Here is different. I saw the whole families playing with the fire on the street. And I really mean the whole families, like 2 years old kids throwing petards and their parents looking very proud and happy.

It is my 3rd Sant Joan, perhaps when I get to 10th I will take active part in it :)


The most interesting view of the night was the huge fire set in the MIDDLE of the street and across the whole street. It is hard to tell from the photo below how huge it was, but believe me.. we drove back with the car to make sure what we see is true. The police was actually around the corner, the street was close, so I guess everything was fine and under control.

Fiesta - the fire on the street of barcelona

That was not the only street we saw closed that night. In Gracia, we found a neighborhood party. Big car playing horribly loud music, people dancing in front of it, and long tables set with food and drinks. All of the neighbors, kids, young and old having a good time. That’s what life should be all about, isn’t it? (fiesta, familia y amigos are very important in Spain)

Fiesta - the party on the street

When I come across situation like this, here in Spain, it always makes me wonder. People from north, they are just missing that ‘fun chip’. We are too stressed, to busy living for work, forgetting to stop and think what is really important. So I watch and I learn.

Apart from exploding streets, loud music, concerts and fires, the biggest party is of course on the beach. I never got to Barcelona beach to see it, but I know how it looks in Castelldefels and it is actually quite beautiful.
They are big campfires everywhere. People come with their families, tables and chairs, they set up camps, put their own music on and they party all night long. That is the only night (I think) where you can sleep in the tent on the beach.

Fiesta - san joan in Castelldefels

Camping on the beach – only once a year

I was going with my bike along the beach the next day in the late afternoon. Most of them were still there, packing their staff, sobering, or still being happily drunk.

Today I read in the local newspaper there were none major incidents this year. Great job!


Leave comment using facebook or form below
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>