With the arrival of the fair weather, Andorrans come out to the streets to enjoy their festivals, once again mixing tradition, festivities, music and performance.
Aside from the music and concert series in the streets, which are mainly offered in the afternoons and in virtually all the parishes, the town festival celebrations fill the summer calendar from June to mid-September: the Cremada de Falles (Burning of the Fallas) in Andorra la Vella, the Cirque du Soleil, which is in Andorra throughout the month of July, and the town festival of Escaldes-Engordany (25 and 26 July), the town festival of Sant Julià de Lòria (end of July) and the Andorra la Vella town festival (first weekend of August).
The night of Sant Joan is synonymous with fire. Throughout the Pyrenees, this holiday is lived in a very special way, with the Cremada de les Falles, a tradition that was added to the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible World Heritage in 2015.
Andorra la Vella also celebrates it every year on the night of 23 June in the streets and squares of the city’s historic quarters. Balls of fire are launched into the air over the heads of all who attend, to the sound of traditional music, in this ancestral tradition. This is truly something to see!
July is circus month, as the Cirque du Soleil spends the month in Andorra, offering a unique and free show, created exclusively to be performed here. For information on the performance days, schedules and how to get free tickets or to purchase a seat, simply visit www.visitandorra.com.
The schedule of activities of the three town festivals include music, outdoor concerts, theatre and shows for the little ones. And they are always accompanied by a nice dose of tradition, as seen in the typical and specific dances of these local fiestas, which sometimes feature popular imagery in the form of giants, big heads and traditional animals and characters. Hence, the Escaldes-Engordany festivities include the traditional Ball de Santa Anna. The community of Sant Julià celebrates La Passa, the Ball Cerdà and the Ball de la Marratxa, accompanied by the giants, whose names are Rei Moro (Moorish King) and Dama Blanca (White Lady). For its part, Andorra la Vella celebrates the Ball del Contrapàs, a dance that is only held on the Sunday of the town festival, followed by the dance of the giants and festival dwarfs, who have their own music and choreography.
*Las Fallas de San Juan in Andorra la Vella. Image courtesy of the City Council of Andorra la Vella.