Yesterday it was my first Feast of St John (San Juan). As many of you don't know what this celebration is about I will explain it.
The fiesta is a pagan tradition given Christian sanction for it dates back to an ancient celebration of the Midsummer Solstice. It is a festival of bonfires and mayhem in the streets, echoed all over Spain.
The climax of the festival comes at midnight on the 23rd when huge bonfires are set on fire. The bonfire is also the occasion to get rid of old furniture, which helps to keep the fire burning much longer!
Most of the bonfires prepared are set up along the beach. When the flames have dwindled to an appropriate size, young people start jumping over the fire, demonstrating great ability in a competition of skill and bravery. At the same time the rest of the group continues to dance around the fire.
According to tradition, the night of San Juan is magical (in Rome it is thought the witches fly) and anyone having a swim in the sea or who washes his/her face with sea water at the stroke of midnight will conserve eternal beauty.
Imagine 8-10 km of coast full of bonfires lighting up the sea. It's a wonderful sight. I would like to post more pics but I forgot my cam at home (as ever).
San Juan. Bonfires in the beach.