"Sant Joan" in Barcelona
Do you know what is the shortest night of the year? The night of the festival of San Juan, and this year we will celebrate it on Monday June 23, with the arrival of the summer solstice.
The tradition of this festival is to light a fire during the night of San Juan to give more power to the sun, which as of now is closer to the northern hemisphere, but also it starts to give us less minutes of sun, reaching back to winter solstice. The following day, the day of San Juan (Tuesday June 24, 2013) is a bank holiday in the country.
The celebration of this holiday is celebrated in various parts of Europe and each of them gives a different name to it: Spain (San Juan), Portugal (Fogueiras de São João), Norway (Jonsok), Denmark (Sankthans), Sweden (Midsummer ), Finland (Juhannus), Estonia (Jaanipäev) and the UK (Midsummer).
In Catalonia and Valencia it's very typical the famous bakes with pine nuts, and the bravest ones dare with firecrackers. For security reasons it is advisable to use fireworks in open spaces and with caution.