La Noche de San Juan in Malaga

The month of June is the occasion to enjoy one of the most iconic and impressive Spanish festivities: la Noche de San Juan. Music, concerts, bonfires, fireworks and midnight baths are part of the night. The Noche de San Juan or « Saint-John’s Night » is a Christian celebration which takes place on June 23th on the eve of the day of “Juan el Bautista “on June 24th. It is celebrated in many places in Europe such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Estonia and Portugal, although it is specially rooted in Spain. During this celebration, Spanish people meet their family and their friends in the streets and on the squares to light stakes and fires.   1) Celebration in Malaga Every year, during the Noche of San Juan, thousands of “Malagueños” spend the night on the beach to celebrate the arrival of the summer. The tradition is to bring all the necessary on the beach so that the welcome of summer is a big hit: wood for the stake, a paper on which we write a wish that we will cast in flames, good music and his “soul” prepared to enjoy the “pescaíto” smoked on the beach. At midnight, we burn the famous “juas” […]

The month of June is the occasion to enjoy one of the most iconic and impressive Spanish festivities: la Noche de San Juan. Music, concerts, bonfires, fireworks and midnight baths are part of the night.

The Noche de San Juan or « Saint-John’s Night » is a Christian celebration which takes place on June 23th on the eve of the day of “Juan el Bautista “on June 24th. It is celebrated in many places in Europe such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Estonia and Portugal, although it is specially rooted in Spain.

During this celebration, Spanish people meet their family and their friends in the streets and on the squares to light stakes and fires.

 

1) Celebration in Malaga

Every year, during the Noche of San Juan, thousands of “Malagueños” spend the night on the beach to celebrate the arrival of the summer. The tradition is to bring all the necessary on the beach so that the welcome of summer is a big hit: wood for the stake, a paper on which we write a wish that we will cast in flames, good music and his “soul” prepared to enjoy the “pescaíto” smoked on the beach.

At midnight, we burn the famous “juas” which are dolls of cloth filled with sawdust, with paper or any materials. It is the neighbors and groups of friends that make them and the custom is to represent a popular character, grotesquely characterized, which has shined for a particular reason this year.

Then, young people jump over burning coals and bathe in the sea, thinking of three wishes. Many years ago, it was forbidden to bathe before this date which was opening the baths season.

 

2) Mythology around the Noche San Juan

The origin of this tradition comes from pagans celebrations in which was celebrated the arrival of summer solstice, on June 21st. The purpose of this Rite was “to give more strength to the sun” which from these days was going to become more and more “weak”. Indeed, from this date, days become shorter and shorter until to the winter solstice. Symbolically, fire also had a “purificatory” function for the people who contemplated him. If this celebration is celebrated 2 days later in Spain it is not to be associated with pagan’s religions and to have its own Christian identity.

People say that during this night – qualified as magic – every person washing his face in the sea after midnight will keep its beauty forever. The legend also says that during this night dreams become reality.

 

3) Where to celebrate it in Malaga?

Playa de la Misericordia, a big and wide beach situated at only 10 minutes walk from our school is the perfect place to enjoy the party. “Malagueñas” families come here to celebrate the Noche San Juan, so you will be at the heart of the event.

Playa de la Malagueta, near the city center, is the heart of this celebration. Live music concerts begin at 9:30pm and big fireworks can be observed from every beach.

You got it, the Noche de San Juan is a very special event in Spain and we hope this article made you want to come in Malaga and celebrate it with us!

If you don’t know what to do in Malaga this summer, go read our article about a perfect day in Malaga or participate to our Spanish Intensive Course!

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