The first midsummer fire on Canigou in modern times was lit on 23 June 1955 by Francois Poujade and fellow USAP rugby fanatics – both to celebrate his birthday and Perpignan’s victory over FC Lourdes in the Yves du Manoir Challenge cup.
No event in the Catalan calendar is more important than Els Focs de la Sant Jean or The Fires of St John, our mid-summer rites held on the region’s sacred mountain, Canigou (2,784 metres), and in towns and villages right across Catalonia.
Coming from the French word terre for “soil,” the word terroir originally described the special characteristics of a region, or piece of land, which gave different varieties of wine, coffee and tea their individuality. (Soil, climate, position, regional traditions….)
Whit Monday (Pentecost Monday) in English, le Lundi de Pentecôte in French, this day is usually the last of four public holidays in May, this year (2017) on the 4th June.
In fact, it is a ‘movable feast’ in the Christian calendar
L’Ascension is the 40th day after Easter, ten days before Pentecost Sunday and marks the day that Jesus is believed to have ascended to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection.
You may have already seen the article that we posted on the TILT Festival a few weeks ago, but perhaps you wrote it off as “something for the kids”? Well, keep an open mind and read our interview with artistic director, Julien Bieules… you might just be pleasantly surprised!
Gégants are enormous painted figures, several metres tall, constructed on a wooden framework with heads made from paper maché and plaster of paris – a tradition which goes back to the Middle Ages, depicting religious figures in parades.
According to French tradition, give those you love a little bouquet of Lily-of-the-Valley (Muguet), to wish them happiness and good luck in celebration of the arrival of spring.
Fiona Sass and Cindy Guilbert have much in common. They both live in the High Vallespir….and they both have a passion for edible and medicinal weeds and wild plants.
Taking place on or around 23rd April each year, a date linked to literature and popular tradition, the festival of Sant Jordi celebrates the Patron saint of Catalonia, French equivalent of St George, a Christian Roman soldier, who was martyred around 303AD for refusing to renounce Christianity