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Observations on a New Life in Spain

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Summer Solstice (San Joan 2008)

25 June, 2008 (02:13) | Living in Europe | By: admin


Monday night we went roaming the streets of Barcelona with some friends visiting from New Zealand. St Joan Day 2008. This holiday is one of the biggest in Barcelona. Everyone is on the streets armed with fireworks and explosives, there are no rules or regulations, it is complete anarchy; there are old ladies throwing M80’s at little kids with a look of glee in their eye. There are home made bottle rockets filling the skies.



There are huge bonfires in the streets, people are throwing pieces of furniture, old books and more fireworks directly into the bonfires.

The streets are lined with tables and all of the neighbors are out drinking and eating, bands are stationed at the end of most streets and people are dancing to live music until early in the morning.

According to tradition you have to swim in the ocean after midnight, So we all headed for the beach. When we got there we could not believe our eyes and ears. The beach was filled with what seemed to be every person who lives in or is visiting Barcelona. There were tents and bonfires, people carrying torches, lots of music. Looking down the coast we could see miles and miles of people partying; chutes of fire and smoke, sparks, bangs, coming from the crowds. It looked like something out of a Peter Jackson film, with an almost medieval cast to it. The sound of the surf pounding to shore made it distinctly Barcelona.

When we found our spot on the beach we took of our clothes and ran into the water which was warm and inviting. It as an absolutely amazing night and I will never forget it.
Barcelona certainly knows how to party! Unlike in USA or New Zealand, where such an event would be contained to a few hours, this party (complete with fireworks) goes on until 10 am the next day, when the beach control comes around and chases everyone off the beach to clean it.