Message of the Flama del Canigó
We are language and fire. We have a language, national and non-negotiable; the one that unites and identifies us: the Catalan that underpins our culture, that conveys our ideas, that shapes our ideals and that branches out into a multitude of local formulas that make it rich.
We are also fire, I said. Primal fire, purifying and renewing life, and we celebrate it with ancient pagan rituals in the Catalan Countries. The falles of València announce the arrival of spring. A few months before, the Sant Antoni bonfires will have been lit, which we call barraques in Els Ports de Morella and El Maestrat, or foguerons in Mallorca. Correfocs and fireworks, with showy pyrotechnics, flood the streets of towns and villages in celebration with a deafening atmosphere and the sweet smell of gunpowder.
But above all we cannot forget the fire with which we celebrate the summer solstice. On the long-awaited night of Sant Joan, the flame will be lit in Canigó, which will symbolically extend from Salses to Guardamar and from Fraga to Maó, and which will be descended on foot along complicated mountain paths, from the top of our emblem-mountain, thanks to the efforts of our people.
And it is that, unlike other cultures, the Catalans men and women, from the north and the south, from the west and the islands, we are a people that walks. We walk to know and love the country. Our present still drinks from that primitive excursionism that, step by step, merged with the territory. Go through it slowly and with an attentive look, it becomes a trait of culture. Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer, Joan Coromines or Josep Maria Espinàs did it; and Perejaume with his artistic walk.
We also walk as an expression of a radically peaceful and revolutionary resistance. We have a forceful, marked, inflexible step, which unites us as a people in a single cry, filing differences, bringing looks closer. Walking has become a sign of identity itself, a gesture of freedom in the process towards national sovereignty. Remember the Marxes per la Llibertat, those human columns that entered Barcelona in October 2019. This image said it all about us.
We are like this: tongue and fire, and at the same time, and if you will allow me the ironic paradox, we are a fireproof people that obstinately forge step by step, its own future.