Midsummer’s Eve: San Juan’s Bonfire Night in Malaga
The night of 23 June is the summer solstice, also known in Spain as the “Night of San Juan”. Thousands of people of all ages celebrate the arrival of summer on the beach: Malaga’s coast is lit with bonfires and at the stroke of midnight, all the so-called “júas”, huge cloth dolls full of sawdust, paper and any other combustible material, are burned. Friends and families gather together, eat the typical sardines (espetos) which are cooked over the flames, listen to good music and dance all night. Malagueta and Misericordia are the most popular beaches in this area where to enjoy this festivity.
The origin of this pagan celebration gets lost in time. Tradition says it is the perfect night for fire and water rituals to get rid of evil spirits. Some of these ancient magic rituals are still conserved today: for example, jumping the bonfire will bring good luck as fire will provide protection all year; writing a wish on a paper and throwing it to the bonfire will help to have a better chance to achieve it; having a dip in the sea at midnight is supposed to rise women’s fertility and avoid negative energy.
So, what are you waiting for? A night of barbecues on the beach, bonfires, floating lanterns and live music is the perfect opportunity to experience a typical Spanish tradition. And what better occasion to attend a beach party than on a night dedicated to welcoming our favourite season!
Get TEFL qualified in 4 weeks and teach English in sunny Spain!