SANT JOAN MEANS FALLES!

SANT JOAN MEANS FALLES!

Desde 31/05/201828/06/2018

( ENC, ORD, ALV, SJL, ESC )


As June arrives, local fallaires groups and associations prepare for the ancient summer solstice fire festival, where falles are burned.


Since the tradition was revived, every June, for the Sant Joan festival, Andorra’s groups of fallaires burn falles, a kind of beacon made of wood, all over five of the country’s parishes. It’s the shortest night of the year, the night of fire... the celebration of the summer solstice. The burning of the falles is the culmination of a series of preliminary activities, which are carried out as a group or individually throughout June. Since 2015 they are part of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Calendar of activities

On 31 May, the Fallaires Majors Dinner takes place, involving anyone who has ever led the groups of fallaires since 1977, when the role of Fallaire Major was made official.

On 9 and 10 June, there is a community meet-up in Aina. Saturday 9 June is when the recerca de l'argolla takes place: a treasure hunt where various fallaire groups compete to find a ring and name the Fallaire Major. On Sunday 10 June, various traditional falla workshops are organised. The fallaires peel the bark off the birch trees, which is then threaded onto a boxwood stick.

There is no set schedule for the making of the falles, but it all gets done during June. The Andorra la Vella group makes its falles during the El Puial neighbourhood festival, on Saturday 16 June. “Modern” falles are made from pine pulp sheets of paper, wrapped in chicken wire and threaded onto a chain.

23 June: Sant Joan’s Eve and the burning of the falles! The day begins with the receiving of the Flama del Canigó [Canigou Flame] on Plaça del Consell General. Next, the roles of national Fallaire Major and Fallaire Menor of Andorra la Vella are passed on from the previous holders to this year’s nominees. The event is closed by local dance groups Lauredià and Valls del Nord, with dances related to the world of falles.
From 10 p.m. onwards, the falles are burned on the streets and squares of the old towns of Andorra la Vella, Sant Julià de Lòria, Escaldes-Engordany and Encamp. The falles’ life cycle ends as they light up the bonfires of various local Sant Joan celebrations.

On 28 June, falles are burned in Ordino, as part of the Sant Pere celebrations.


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