The Night of San Juan is undoubtedly the most magical night of the year in Andalusia, and especially in the province of Málaga. It is always celebrated on the night of June 23, that is, the night before the Saint Day of San Juan, which practically coincides with the beginning of summer.
How to spend the night San Juan in Málaga?
The Night of San Juan has been celebrated since the eighteenth century where family and friends gather on the beach around bonfires and grilling sardines. After enjoying their feast and just after midnight, some rag dolls made especially for the occasion and often representing famous nationalities are burnt. These are in Málaga called júas (Judas). Moreover, it has become a tradition to jump over the fire and immediately after, take a swim in the sea or at least get your feet wet and make three wishes.
Significance of the Night of San Juan
The meaning of fire and burning the “júas” is to leave behind bad times, both for people who watch the fire as for the ones jumping over it. Students, for example, tend to burn the notes and books as the school year has finished, and there are those who write their wishes on paper and burn them or throw them into the sea in the hope that during the summer the wishes will be fulfilled.
The tradition of the ritual of the fire had the purpose to give more power to the sun, as from the beginning of summer, the sun becomes weaker and the number of sunlight hours is once again reduced.
In the old days people were not allowed to swim in the sea until the summer was officially started, so the dip in the sea at Midsummer is a nod to this tradition and is a symbol of purification and cleansing of bad energy. Tradition also says that the temperature and climate on the Night of San Juan is a signal for how the rest of the summer will be. That is, if there is west wind and heat during the night, most of the summer days will have those characteristics.
The Night of San Juan in Málaga
The celebration of San Juan is typical at the beaches in the province of Málaga. In the city you will find the celebration on the beaches of “La Malagueta”, “La Misericordia”, “El Palo”, “Limasa”, “San Andrés”, “Sacaba” and “El Dedo”. In most of them you will find organized concerts, and some fireworks are launched at 00.00 to welcome the summer.
The Night of San Juan in Benalmádena
The Night of San Juan in Benalmádena is celebrated at the same time as the annual fair in Arroyo de la Miel starts, so one does not only have the beaches, but also on the streets of the town center to visit. Have a visit though to the beach next to the Bil-Bil castle where you will find bonfires.
The Night of San Juan in Fuengirola
The beach Sohail Castle, near the bridge of “Armada Española” and “Parque Fluvial”, is the place to go for the celebration of San Juan in Fuengirola. You can rent a place for grilling your fish on beforehand so you can organize a party with your friends.
The Night of San Juan in Marbella
The evening of San Juan is celebrated in almost all of the beaches of Marbella, but “El Pinillo” and “El Cable” is the place where dozens of families and groups of friends gather, as well as the beach at the outskirts of San Pedro Alcántara. The chic and famous bars and clubs in the town like El Trocadero and Nikki Beach organize special parties where attendees have to go, usually dressed in white to celebrate the shortest night of the year.
The Night of San Juan in Estepona
The Night of San Juan in Estepona is celebrated on almost all the beaches, although the busiest ones are the beaches of ”La Rada” and “ El Cristo”. Also in Estepona you will, besides the bonfires, find the preparation of the famous sardines on the beach.