La Nit de Sant Joan

La nit de Sant Joan, és nit d’alegria
Estrellat de Flors, L’estiu ens arriba
De mans d’un fillet que li fa de guia.
Primavera mor, l’hiverm es retira.
Si arribes l’amor, mai mes moriría.

Yesterday night was the Nit de Sant Joan and Jaume Sisa composed this song in its honour. Jaume Sisa, composer and singer, has created some of the most iconic songs of contemporary catalan popular music. El setè cel, Qualsevol nit pot sortir el sol or Nit de Sant Joan belong already to the catalan collective subconscious.

Among the catalan festivities, there are two that, in my view, stand out as faithful “avatars” of the “catalan soul”.  One of them, el Dia de Sant Jordi, the day on which men give roses to their significant ones and everybody gives books to everybody, is quite well known even outside of Catalonia. Not so much with la Nit de Sant Joan, celebrated on Saint John’s eve, the night of the 23rd to the 24th of June, around the summer solstice. With roots in pagan times (probable but not proven), it is a night not to sleep…but to eat, drink, dance…a night of love…and pleasure…of fire, of fireworks and bonfires…a celebration of excess and of life.

There is a saying stating that the character of Catalonia fluctuates between el Seny i la Rauxa. El Seny, “reasonableness, integrity, common sense, right action”, would be Sant Jordi. La Rauxa, “passion, excess, sentimentality”  would be la Nit de Sant Joan.

If you ever visit our land, care to include one of these 2 festivities (or both!) in your schedule. And if it is la Nit de Sant Joan be ready to let loose because…”Si arribes l’amor, mai mes moriría.”

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