Barcelona receives the Canigó Flame with a big celebration

For 61 years now the fire of the Canigó Flame has, in a single night, the Nit de Sant Joan, covered all the Catalan-speaking lands. Hundreds of cities, town and villages in the Països Catalans (Catalan Lands) organise celebrations to receive it and for many years now the main event in Barcelona has been held in Plaça de Sant Jaume, where there is fire, music, coca (a flat cake) and fireworks with the City Giants and Eagle. Afterwards, the fire lit at the top of Canigó continues on its way to light the twenty or so bonfires in the city.

The reception ceremony, featuring music and interviews, will start at 5.30 pm in Plaça de Sant Jaume. While everybody waits for the flame to arrive, people from all the Catalan-speaking lands will describe how they celebrate Sant Joan. After that the City Giants, Macebearers and Eagle will step forth to perform their dances. When they finish, coca and medicinal herbs will be handed out to everyone taking part.

The Flame will reach Plaça de Sant Jaume at about 6.30 pm. As is now the tradition, it will be brought by a procession of runners to the sound of a traditional melody, Muntanyes del Canigó. It will be escorted by the City Giants and Eagle, who will accompany the fire to the crucible and light it. Immediately after that this year’s message, written by the writer Andreu Carranza, will be read out and the authorities will deliver their speeches. At 7 pm the fire groups will start making their way to the crucible to collect the flame and take it to their neighbourhoods, where it will be used to light the bonfires that will burn all night.