Festivals and traditional fairs

Falles Virgin of Ribera (Summer solstice fire festivals in the Pyrenees)

The summer solstice fire festivals take place in the Pyrenees each year on the same night when the sun is at its zenith. In la Pobla de Segur the festival takes place the 17th june, once night falls, when young men from the village carry flaming torches down Santa Magdalena mountain to light a beacon. The descent is a special moment for young people, signifying the transition from adolescence to adulthood. The festival is considered a time for regenerating social ties and strengthening feelings of belonging, identity and continuity with celebrations including popular folklore and communal dining. Roles are assigned to specific people. Those carrying a torch are called fallaires. In la Pobla the fallaire role was constricted to men until 2018, when women took the fallaire role for the very first time. Pubilles and children await the arrival of the torchbearers in the village with wine and sweet pastries and, together, they walk towards the church where a priest blesses the couples. The element has deep roots among local communities and is perpetuated thanks to a network of associations and local institutions. The most important locus of transmission is the family, where people keep the memory of this heritage alive. This festivity was inscribed in 2015 on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.