Celebrate San Juan with campfire and food on the beach
Spaniards like to celebrate, that is common knowledge. The arrival of the summer is reason enough for a party! The feast of San Juan, also often called the night of San Juan, is one of the most popular. Highly recommended!
What is it exactly?
Spain has long been a very Christian country. The San Juan festival has a Christian origin, because it actually celebrates the birth of John the Baptist. And as usual, the Bible offers more text and explanation.
It states how the father of John, Zacarius, received a visit from the archangel Gabriel. He brought the great news that Zacarius’s wife was pregnant with a son called John.
The father, however, was very sceptical and reacted with disbelief. His wife was in fact barren! The archangel punished Zacarius for this, so that he could no longer speak until the birth of his son.
When John was finally born, his joy was unconfined. Zacarius made several fires to inform everyone of the great news. These fires eventually gave rise to the San Juan celebrations.
Fire and water
The feast of San Juan is celebrated mainly along the coast. Large campfires are made on the beach, people swim in the sea and fireworks are organised.
The beach is full of party-goers, the smell of campfires and barbecues stimulates your sense of smell, there is music, smiling faces, …
The nice thing about this feast is that everyone can participate. Go to the beach alone or with friends and family. Bring a pile of fire wood, drinks and food, and you are ready to party!
Midnight is without doubt the best time of the evening. Superstition and rituals are very present in Spain, which means they are also included in the feast of San Juan.
The most famous ritual is at the stroke of midnight. Then everyone wades into the sea and jumps over 3 waves. Every wave is equal to a wish.
Every year, people look forward to the night of the 23rd of June. Weeks in advance enough wood is being collected and agreements are made who organises what (drinks, food, …)
When the time has come, groups will start to settle on the beach from the late afternoon. The peak is around midnight, but the party lasts until the early hours.