By Kelly Greacen a summer intern with Barcelona SAE

Bonfire on the Beach

Last night, I went to the beach with my roommates and some friends to check out the Dia de Sant Joan festivities. I had heard a few different things about this Spanish holiday celebrating the summer solstice, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d heard that the beaches are crowded and crazy, that people jump over fires and swim to “cleanse their sins,” that pickpocketing is even worse than usual. I had been told to not bring anything of any sort of value, since theft is so prevalent during the holiday. Well, I didn’t bring anything important, and nothing got stolen, but I did find myself wishing that I had brought a camera. There were lights and fireworks all down the beach; it was really beautiful.

Fireworks seemed to be going off all weekend, more and more leading up to last night. We headed out around 11, and went down to the beach. It was very crowded, but the atmosphere was so fun. Everyone was in a celebratory mood. We walked down the shore all the way from the port to the beachfront outside the clubs. My friend got it in his head to sit in front of the clubs in order to better hear the music, but it was more or less the same as anywhere else on the beach. So glad we trekked for 45 minutes for our spot on the beach then! Stupidly, I wore heels, and wound up carrying them most of the way. We finally found a good place to sit. Everyone had bonfires going, so we dug a pit, found some cardboard to burn, and lit a piece in a neighboring fire to start our own. Our little fire kept burning out, but we re-lit it as many times. It was nice because it was windy and a little cold on the beach.


I was disappointed that I didn’t see anybody jumping over fires, but maybe that was just happening elsewhere. I initially planned on going for a swim, but once it got cold I gave that idea up. We had a blast, though, just hanging out on the beach and watching the fireworks over the ocean. If you looked down the beach you saw a blaze of lights lining the shore.

The metro line by the beach was shut down for the night, probably because of the huge crowds, so I had to take a cab home. Small price to pay for the experience, though!