Parading the puppets for Summer Solstice

revetlla dels ninots

The “Revetlla dels Ninots” is a loud midnight street party held in Tarragona one week before the Summer Solstice celebration of Sant Joan.  Among the great fanfare revelers  parade the allegoric puppets ( ninots ) which will be burned on the bonfire in seven days time.

The evening starts at one quarter to midnight and carries on with irresistible energy till the early hours of the morning. Injecting the equivalent of musical cocaine in to the party are one of the most galvanizing brass bands this blogger has ever come across: the Txaranga Band Tocats, a bunch of tireless, über energetic  players that are the musical soul of Tarragona’s celebrations. We love them and this is why:

The origins of this traditions goes back to the days when old decrepit wooden furniture would be gathered for the great Summer Solstice bonfire. As one point some local  must have spotted a good opportunity to make a political statement and the “Revetlla dels Ninots” was born (with the first puppet ever burned being, allegedly, a representation of Franco).  This year we have a judge and some other shady political figures  made ready for the bonfire next week and symbolic of the stalemate attitude of the Spanish government towards Catalonia, with revelers  holding up  “Decidim Si” signs, let’s decide YES on the question of independence.

The first Mamadeta (Chartreuse with lemon slush) flows freely along with a thousand people joining an exhilarating run from Plaça del Forum, down  towards Plaça del Sedasso where the party continues till three in the morning.

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