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Les feux de la Saint Jean


23rd June

Fête de la Saint Jean

Feux de la Saint Jean

The current health situation means new rules, but nevertheless, the region is eager to perpetuate traditions and move forward.

As such, on Tuesday 23rd June, Vernet les Bains, Prades, Codalet, Prats de Mollo and Argelès sur Mer will celebrate the Catalan custom of la flamme de Saint Jean.

A flaming torch, kept throughout the year at the Castillet in Perpignan, is usually carried to the top of Canigou and used to light the bonfire which can be seen all over the Conflent.

A symbol of peace and unity between the Catalan countries, this flame is then carried by volunteer runners, from the summit to all the villages of the department and beyond.

Given the difficulties of the previous months, this year’s event will be a symbolic representation of the usual festivities.

What’s on

Vernet les Bains, 11am

The flame will arrive directly from Canigou into place de la République, accompanied by music and traditional Catalan dancing.

Prades

Residents are invited to light up their windows in place of the bonfires usually lit on the mountain tops.

The flame will be on show at the Mairie.

Codalet, 6pm

Bring a candle and play an active role in the spreading of the light.

Prats de Mollo, 6.10pm

The evening starts with a fire and Sardane dancing, before the Tour de Mir and other surrounding tours are illuminated at 10.10pm.

Bring a candle and join the illuminations.

Argelès sur Mer, 9pm

Residents are invited to light up their windows in place of the bonfires usually lit on the mountain tops.

Organisers will ensure social distancing and hygiene measures are in place for anyone wishing to partake in the evening’s festivities and everyone will receive a candle, to help light up the night.

To top it all off, a traditional cobla will play to welcome the flame.

© Rosie Dauve

Herbs are traditionally an important part of the Feux de la Saint Jean as it is said that their curative powers are 100 times stronger on this particular evening.

Rosemary, thyme, verbena and other herbs are picked and made into bouquets and garlands.

Verbena in particular is supposed to have mystical properties and act as an aphrodisiac, whilst carlina (a type of thistle shaped like the sun) is also believed to have aphrodisiac qualities.

It is also nailed to the doors to protect from evil spirits and to prevent ‘mauvaises fées’ (bad fairies) from entering the house.

PAST YEARS

A selection of typical yearly events throughout the region on  23rd June

Argelès sur Mer

Music with cobla
Arrival of the Saint Jean flame with parade accompanied by the Gegants d’Argeles, les Cantaïres, le Foment de la Sardane and singers
Sardane
Fireworks
Bal

Banyuls-sur-Mer

Parades and arrival of the flame
Bonfire and music on the beach
Sardanes sur la place Paul Reig

Canet

Music and dancing
Arrival of the flame and dégustation (tasting)
Bal

Le Boulou

Music and dancing
Arrival of the flame and dégustation (tasting)

Maureillas-las-Illas

Music and fireworks at Prats de la Farga

Port Vendres

Arrival of the flame
Sardane in place de l’Obélisque
Fireworks, music and dancing

Prats de Mollo

Music and bonfire in the square

Saint Cyprien

Arrival of the flame
Sardanes
Grillade (BBQ)

Thuir

Sardanes
Tastings of traditional Catalan food and wine

Villeneuve de la Raho

Fireworks and bal on lakeside

Details

Date:
23rd June
Event Categories:
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