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June 23: Verbenas de Sant Joan

Around the summer solstice, Barcelona celebrates midsummer with beach bonfire parties, similar to other places in Spain. This is known as the Verbenas de Sant Joan (Festival of St. John the Baptist) in Catalan. Around the same time, the cognate Juhannus would have been happening back in Finland. Our teachers organized a gathering for our class out on the beach so that we could immerse ourselves in the festivities.

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On the Metro that evening, not too crowded at all. Where is everyone, don't they want to celebrate?

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Oh, here they are!

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A mysterious little rail scene.

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A close view of the Torre Mare Nostrum, first glimpsed on my initial approach to the city.

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Long strange shadows on the beach from a bright artificial light, the sea entirely merged with the darkness of the night sky.

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Another captured flash.

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It was pretty dark in most spots along the beach, with the onshore lights at a good distance.

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The darkness was intermittently interrupted by fireworks. I like all the shapes of them here.

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A lone sparkler in front of polychromatic waves.

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Pulsar style.

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Gee whiz!

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A rather vegetal group of bursts, with stalks and tendrils.

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We partook of coca de Sant Joan graciously brought along by our teachers.

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Everyone having a nice time at a safe distance from the fire.

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Augh! Wait! Stop! What are you doing!

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You'll hurt yourself!!

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Well that looks uncomfortable.

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The enveloping fire glow.

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I told you to stop sitting on the fire!!

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These ones look like baby octopi swimming around. D'awwwww! Also, yet another captured flash.

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Aww yeah it's like a particle supercollision!

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These sparks got parabolized by an onshore breeze, maybe.

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Finally we started home, the air thick with firework smoke.

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It looks like a dust storm under the lights.

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Making our way back along the shore walks.

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Back at La Rambla, things were looking wet. I don't remember whether there were bits of rain or if the ground was just... wet.

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There were plenty of fireworks being tossed around in the streets as well.

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Sometimes their effect was a little too forceful. (Nah, I think this was just a coincidence. Maybe.)