Noche de San Juan in Spanish, Midsummer-night in English, The night of San Juan for English who live in Spain
In Spain, the night of San Juan is celebrated the night of the 23rd – 24th of June. The best place to go is “Burriana beach” in Nerja, where there will be fireworks, bonfires, live music, espetos de sardinas (sardines skewers) and places to have something to drink.
Many stay over night at the beach, some of them in tents, others just sleep on the beach. There are also “tortas de San Juan” for sale, a kind of biscuit made from anise, flour and sugar.
The celebration starts at 22:00 the night of the 23rd of June with music, drinks and food, and last until the next day.
Midsummernight, a night full of Magic.
The traditional midsummer party in Spain is the celebration in honour of San Juan (St. John the Baptist). Midsummer was from ancient times a festival of the summer solstice. Some people believed that golden-flowered mid-summer plants, especially St. John’s Wort and Calendula , had miraculous healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other powerful beings.
The Andalusian say that if you wash your face in sea water you will look healthier and prettier the next day, BUT you are not allowed to look in the mirror the whole night otherwise it will not have effect!
Others believe that when you jump seven times through the smoke of the bonfire you will receive protection.
Another ritual is to turn your back to the sea and jump 9 waves, it should give you good health.