The night of Sant Joan in Tarragona is a terrifying cacophony of petards, fireworks and flares celebrating the shortest night of the year.
The Rambla Nova of Tarragona was the stage of the annual arrival of horses and traditional carts for what is known as Els Tres Tombs, an ancient ritual dedicated to Sant Anthony Abat. It consists in doing three lapses around a designated area and takes place in many Catalans towns and cities.
Salou, the hedonistic capital of Catalonia and the Costa Dorada, comes back in to life for a brief day in winter before falling asleep again till early spring. This is formally known for its Cós Blanc (white things), its epicentre a gigantic parade of floats, 20 tonnes of confetti , gyroscopic light effects and thirty thousand people attending.
The religious festival of Sant Roc commemorates the patron of Cós del Bou, a small street, adjacent to the large square of Plaça de la Font, once one of the main hubs of old Tarragona.
The night of San Joan begins with the arrival of the flame carried by runners from the highest peak in Catalonia to the Serrallo in Tarragona. The flame lights a giant bonfire around which the Diables Voramar, these dark figures which originate from the Medieval street theater, dance with the Vibria unleashing a cacophony of flares.
The most anticipated night of the Tarragona calendar, the night of Sant Joan, celebrating the Summer Solstice will take place this Saturday. If you live here, or passing by, watch out for the petards; they have already started, crackling, exploding away around every corner and every street as a prelude to the big bang of Sant Joan.
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.
Visit the cloister of the cathedral in Tarragona on the day of Corpus Christi and you will notice something usual: jumping up and down among the sprays of water of the centrail fountain is a dancing egg, one the most cherished features of this celebration.
La diada di San Jordi, day of Sant George, is one of the most loved yearly event in Tarragona where people, books and roses mix happily along the Rambla. Although not a public holiday, everyone seems to find time for a stroll and, before midday, the venue is packed with people.
On a seriously wet Sunday morning Els Tres Tombs, the traditional procession celebrating San Anthony, patron of all animals, took place along the Rambla, watched by an umbrella holding audience.
In true local tradition the Homes dels Nassos, the ‘Man of Noses’, a mythological Catalan character, makes his appearance at 12 o’clock on the last day of the year ready to take the old year away.
Sant Roc is a local festival celebrated at the heart in the Carrer de Cos de Bou, located in the Part Alta of Tarragona.
One of the great privileges of living in Tarragona, is to watch the Collas build castells “human towers”, this spectacular feat of balance, strength and human engineering which is unique to Catalonia. From atop a balcony it looks like the inverse making of a flower, it’s petals embedded in the ground and the stem raising up in to the sky.
As part of what is officially known as Fiesta de Sant Joan, the Cercavila de Foc (the Ball of Fire) is a astonishing event that takes place every year at the weekend of Summer Solstice. It follows from the lighting of the beacon, the Rebuda de Foc, at the Serrallo at sunset celebrating the arrival of Summer which sets the central team of the battle of darkness and light.
The 12th edition of the International Festival of Music in Tarragona will start on the 30th of June and run until the 7th of July. Taking part are some of the best musicians from Spain and Europe like Rivka Golani, Kai Gleusteen, Thomas Martin, Will Sanders and Vicens Prats which will be holding music workshops for guitar, flute, horn, cello and double bass.
The popular courses are priced at 175 Euros per person and you can find the full details and how to enrol at the festivals website http://www.dipta.cat/festivalmusicatarragona/
The festival also offer a series of free concerts that will take place at the Auditori de la Fundació Caixa Tarragona (see map, dates and times below).
This quintessential festivity, celebrated the Catholic world over, is given an unusual twist in Tarragona; since the fourteenth century a procession, which includes giant statues, takes place along its medieval streets. Amongst these statues are ‘el negrito’ and ‘la negrita’, two figures depicting a black man and a black woman holding a parrot, reinstated in the 1850’s after a mention was discovered describing their inclusion in the processions held in the middle ages. These ancient figures are permanently exhibited at the house of festival in Tarragona.
Follow up to previous post: just when you thought life could slow down a bit with the final day of Tarraco Viva over, in comes Peix Blau 2012, another gastronomic event made in Tarragona.
To give a teaser, the organisers have set up tapas hot spots in Placa del Rey (Part Alta), central Tarragona and the Serrallo, each serving three signature tapas based on the fabled peix blau, a unique type of sardine only found in these waters. Sadly this is only a four hours event and if you want more you’ll have to wait for the start of Peix Blau 2012 next month.
STOP PRESS! This Sunday grab your self a tasty treat with la Ruta del Peix Blau taking place in various parts of the city in order to promote the Peix Blau which is a type of sardine unique to these waters.
Organised by Tarragona Gastronòmica, the event will take place between 11am and 3pm at Plaça del Rei, near the railing of the circus Circus, at no. 20 the Rambla Nova, at Plaça de Sant Magí and the Serrallo district.
For 2.50 Euros you get a superlative tapas and a free cold beer!
Tarragona has a way of drawing indelible pictures on your heart. Sometime they comes from nowhere, like a face in a window which then withdraws and disappears behind the curtains. Other times it’s an euphoric impromptu, like 200 student ballerinas doing a coordinated open air exercise, using the railing of he Balcó del Mediterrani as a dancing implement.
Today, 23rd of April, is Sant Jordi, also known here as ‘the day of Books’ or ‘the day of Roses’ and the thing to do is to give a book to your man and a rose to your favourite girl (needless to say, a lot of girls buy their own rose to get in to the spirit of things).
dTapes, the fourth edition of this brilliant local gastronomic initiative, got in to full swing last Thursday evening with 42 mini creations on offer.
We have already munched our way though 9 different establishments but there is still a bit to go so we are going to reserve our final verdict on the best tapa for the end of next week.