Festas de S. Xoan – Panxon – ES

fire-placeThe celebration of Summer solstice or the Bonfires of St. John. This festive day (or better said, night) it is very common in Spain and Portugal, especially in the coastal cities and towns such as Alicante for Spain and Oporto for Portugal. Much like most ancient celebrations, this also is meant to protect against evil spirits.

The date of this celebration was the 23rd of June, and it starts for me with a question: where I would see the closest big fire? Rumors were that it will take place in Nigran, which is not so far.

Captură de ecran din 2017.07.09 la 17.40.07

First, we stoped to admire the Illas Cies, sundown and a cute cloud formation, that was looking like a family of elephants.

At arrival to Panxon, we are greeted by the Police, telling us that the road is closed so we should park the car some place else. This was the signal that we are in the good place (where lots of people gather).

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The first thing I saw (also because it was dark) was the big music scene, performing latino famous hits. People of all ages were dancing in the middle of the crowd, but not like some of us would except (like just jumping or balancing) but actually in pairs. First the old ones gave the tone, then the young ones, and soon most people next to the stage, were dancing.

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Then a group of people handing a long stick with a towel made me think that they will be soon lighting up the fire. So I walked in the opposite directions to search for a good spot. Took also a beer, made a few photos of the small fires lid on the beach and waited.

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First, there was a fireworks show and then the big fires (because by now, I found out that there were two of them actually)

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As gear I used the nifty-fifty 50mm lens from Canon paired with the 80D. This combo allowed me to get great shots (as seen) without much of a problem. On some of them I was actually holding my camera in one hand, since I had a beer on the other one. But there is still an issue about digital cameras. The light from the fire vs the crowd. The beach and the ocean are almost invisible in most shots I made.

Fireworks are also a hard subjects, and the iPhone was a bit better in terms of colors but not in details.

Well this event is sure thing interesting and as campfires are, this is the biggest one I saw yet, but it sure ain’t the smartest humans came up with (burning a huge number of dead branches and plastic bottles) but it brings up people and gives kids a new thing to do: dig a whole, put wood and light’em up!

MiDe.

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