Les Feux de la Saint-Jean,
to celebrate the summer solstice
Join the Catalonians in celebrations that go back to time immemorial! Originally, this event celebrated the summer solstice which coincided with the end of the harvest... Nowadays, in Pyrénées-Orientales, it is a hugely popular celebration of fraternity between Catalonians on both sides of the border.
History of Les Feux de la Saint-Jean
The Feux de la Saint-Jean festival is held every year on the night of 23 June.
A week prior to the event, during the Trobada (gathering), volunteers and members of various sports and cultural associations bring bundles of grape-vine branches to prepare a huge bonfire at the summit of the Canigó.
Every year, awe-struck crowds watch the giant inferno blazing at the top of the “sacred” mountain. The flame, carried by a messenger, is welcomed in the evening by a festive committee who use it to light the fires of joy that represent a promise of renewal for the summer solstice celebrations.
The festival then gets underway with a public dance for the shortest night of the year.
The Canigó flame
Since 1964, the flame used to light the huge bonfire at the top of the Canigou has never gone out! It awaits the evening of 23 June at the Castillet in Perpignan, inside an oil lamp. Don’t hesitate to go and see it!
Les Feux de la Saint-Jean: an immensely popular festival
Tradition has it that, on the eve of Saint-Jean, certain flowers and herbs are gathered to bring good luck and protection. A typical bouquet consists of immortelle, jelly bean plant, walnut and St John’s wort!
On this day, habits and customs are respected. And for Catalonians, that goes for the atmosphere too! On the agenda, dance and sardana (traditional round dance with counted alternating steps) with the blood and gold colours of Catalonia held high!
Enjoy the wonderful firework displays organised for the occasion!
An amazing celebration where the hearts of this people beat in unison with the crackle of the flames of Saint-Jean.