24 June 2017

Festival of Saint John, Perpignan

The Festival of Saint John, aka La Fête de la Saint Jean, is a big deal in Perpignan. Really, it's a big deal in all of Catalonia, but we were in Perpignan...

Here, in front of the Castillet, the giant puppets stand by while the flame of Canigó is used to light lanterns. The red and yellow flag is "La Senyera," Catalan for "flag" but also specifically used for the flag representing Catalonia. It is from the 11th century, and based on the coat of arms of the King of Aragon. It also forms the basis for the current coat of arms for the city of Perpignan. This flag is *everywhere!*

Later, the Puppets (both the giant ones and the just quite large ones) danced to drums and bagpipes at the front of a parade around the city streets

They were followed by folks in traditional costumes

Children carrying a long Catalan flag

And ending with donkeys!

The evening ended with concerts, ceremonies involving the flag and the flame (not too close together!), and fireworks

This year didn't seem as jam-packed with music as when we were here before (see herehere, and here). In 2011, there were plenty of chairs set up around the stages - this time, none! And, of course, this time there were a lot of police and soldiers on duty.

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