“Fia-faia, que nostro Senyor ha nascut a la paia” (“Fia-faia, for our Lord is born in the hay”), sing the residents of Bagà and Sant Julià de Cerdanyola in the evenings at Christmastime, a tradition included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Bonfires are not only lit to celebrate the Eve of Saint John’s Day. Bagà and Sant Julià de Cerdanyola burn so-called faies (bundles of dried herbs) at the start of winter, on Christmas Eve to be precise. The bundles, which are brought down from the mountain, are set alight in the centre of each of the two towns to celebrate the birth of Jesus. If you happen to be spending the holiday season in the Berguedà region, this is a must-see event; you’ll be taking part in an ancient celebration where fire is the star attraction.
Bagà and Sant Julià de Cerdanyola