We anchor in the Bay of Roses, in full view of the large bonfire lit by the Roses Town Council from the flame of the Canigó mountain. While we wait for the flames to die down and the fireworks to start, we can sense the marvellous excitement of the people. Then the festival starts, with rockets of all imaginable colours.
Boats come from all the towns around the bay (Empuriabrava, Sant Pere Pescador, L’Escala, and so on) to enjoy this spectacular display.
Our family firm started this tradition many, many years ago, before we dedicated ourselves to carrying tourists, thinking it would be a very attractive outing for the many tourists who visited Roses, and on the basis of coming here every year we have helped to make it a splendid tradition in the town.
When the fireworks end, we head for the coast to eat the Coca de Sant Joan (a delicious sweet flatbread topped with dried fruits and custard cream) and drink Catalan cava or soft drinks for the children.
Ah! And when you get off the catamaran, don’t hurry away, stay to listen to the band that enlivens the beach even more on this so special night.
As the saying goes, “If you light a fire for Sant Joan, you won’t get burned all year round.”
+ INFORMATION: Midsummer Night, St. John’s Eve, also popularly known as the ‘Night of Fire’ or ‘Witches’ Night,’ is a magical celebration of the summer solstice with a history dating back five centuries. It is an act of worship to the sun and celebration of the length of the day.
The relationship between fire and the summer solstice goes back a long way: we know that the oldest Mediterranean civilisations already celebrated the shortest night of the year by lighting bonfires. In the course of history, the ritual has lived on in the most varied circumstances: it was Christianised in the later stages of the Roman Empire, was kept alive later thanks to the cultural permissiveness of the Arab conquerors, and in harsher times it survived due to its intense family tradition.