One of the most magical nights of the year. Enjoying bonfires on the beach, swimming in the sea, pyrotechnic shows, traditions and superstitions, music … It is a tradition that lives with special intensity throughout Spain, the San Juan Night. It is a special night that that take place on 23 June that welcomes the summer in a big way.
Depends on how it is celebrated, the protagonist can be fire, water, the religion or the tradition of each locality. However all have a common goal: to give up the bad and attract good luck.
Do you want to know what are the best places to celebrate the San Juan night in Spain?
What is the origin of the festival of San Juan?
The celebration of the summer solstice is as old as the appearance of humanity.
Our ancestors, aware that the days were getting shorter, always lit fires to give strength to a sun that made them afraid that they would not come out again. The Celts celebrated the Alban Heruin, the Berbers, the Ansara, the Aztecs oriented their constructions so that the sun affected them on this date, the Hindu shamans read the future in the flames, the ancient Greeks crossed the Door of the Men.
When Christianity arrived, the San Juan Night became a religious festival based on sacred texts. The texts say that John the Baptist was born on June 24 and that his father, Zacarias, had a bonfire ¡lit to announce the arrival of his son.
As we can see, one way or another, sun worship and the cult of fire have always been part of our history. In the times we live, you are the protagonist of the most magical and spiritual night of the year, so read on and choose where you will celebrate the next San Juan.
10 destinations to enjoy the San Juan Night:
A Noite Meiga in Orzán Beach, La Coruña, Galicia
Undoubtedly, the celebration of San Xoan in the Coruña beach of Orzán is one of the festivals of San Juan that you should not miss. This celebration is full of old traditions and especially remembering meigas and witches. The flames of the bonfires of San Juan burn to welcome the summer. It is a magical night where we free the evil spirits. Our tradition says that the Night of San Juan opens the door to the beyond (the world of Alén) where the typical cachelos and sardines roast in the shelter of the fire.
The night of the júas in Málaga
In Málaga, the tradition is to write a wish on a piece of paper and throw it into the fire. Always with good company, food and drink. A wonderful city and very fun to squeeze the shortest night of the year to the maximum between concerts, “espetos”, fireworks and the burning of the júas. The júas are enormous rag dolls that, like a wimp, satirize the popular characters of the moment and end up being burned by flames. The most popular beaches are “La Malagueta” and “La Misericordia”. On the other hand it is important to take a bath at midnight to preserve your beauty.
Festes de Sant Joan in Ciutadella, Menorca
In Ciutadella on the island of Menorca the day of San Juan coincides with its patron. This is why the celebration is so special. In addition to the bonfires of San Juan and the pyrotechnics, the real protagonists are the horses, which take the center of the city. The “caixers”, riders, are in charge of making them jump among all the neighbors as a symbol of power and nobility. If you go, you can not leave without stopping to try the “pomada”. This is a typical drink based on Menorcan gin with lemonade. If you did not know where to go or what to do in the Night of San Juan in Spain, now you have a plan!
Sant Joan in Tarragona, Catalonia
In Tarragona on June 23 is celebrated in each neighborhood with dinners, parties and firecrackers until dawn. In Catalonia, the bonfires of San Juan are lit with the “flame of Canigó”. This is a fire that lights up on the top of the mythical mountain of Canigó, in the Pyrenees. Neither you can miss the human castles that the castellers of Tarragona raise during the day or the rain of fire under which the Diables dance for the Night of San Juan.
Burning of Monuments in Alicante
In Alicante the day of San Juan is very similar to the “Fallas” . Although, with better weather, very close to the beach and with a lot of fun. They install the “monuments” with the bonfires in the street so that tourists can enjoy of this tradition. It’s a unique experience. There, fire and the Mediterranean go hand in hand with the pyrotechnic show that is launched from the hill of Mount Benacantil.
We hope you enjoy this wonderful night anywhere in Spain
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