Monday 20th June 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: original article
It could be described as the ultimate school reunion, a special day during the Fogueres de Sant Joan when those groups who celebrated their coming of age together – the quintàs – gather once again to enjoy fun, music and games in the sunshine. It is surely one of the most anticipated events in the annual programme, the plans for special celebratory lunches made many months ago, xaranga bands booked, T-shirts printed. From early morning, when the peace of the narrow streets is shattered by firecrackers, to the early hours of the the following day when the groups pack into the main square for live entertainment, the historic centre of Xàbia is filled to the brim with bright colours, thumping music and the sound of laughter.
Although each group had their own ideas for lunch, they all gathered together in the Placeta del Convent where bright colours and loud music battled for supremacy. The numbers of the shirts and T-shirts told their story: holding court outside La Yesca was Quintà 1970, sitting just metres away from a far younger quintà chasing each other with water pistols, essential equipment under the already hot sun. Outside the bakery was Quintà 1977, looking on happily as others danced to the infectious beat of the xarangas. On the terrace of El Raconet, Quintà 1975 finished their coffees as young lads dressed as women charged past. The noise was terrific, the goodwill and friendship obvious. This was a perfect start to a most perfect annual reunion.
The marvellous volunteers of the Fogueres Commission worked hard to shepherd the groups into some semblance of order so that they could parade down the bull arena where the famous baret waited for them as well as inflatables and water games. The Placeta del Convent breathed a momentary sigh of relief but there wasn’t too much time to spare as the bars cleared up and reset tables for the lunches.
As the heat of the afternoon gave away to the humidity of evening, the groups gathered again in the main square for live music and entertainment, the happy reunions continuing well into the early hours. As the sun lifted itself slowly from the horizon, the last few revellers headed for bed and the new vehicles of the street cleaning company burst into action to clear after the fun. The ultimate school reunion. Over for another year.