The "night falls" from 2:10. The "fires" from 3:00! Do not miss them!
But the night of San Juan in Spain is home to much more. Do you want to know all its secrets?
When is the night of San Juan celebrated?
The authentic night of San Juan depends on the astronomical event of the summer solstice, whose pagan rituals lead to preparing and lighting huge bonfires in order to give more strength to the sun on the longest days of the year (farthest from the Arctic), and that It has a purifying function of the people who enjoy them.
However, in addition to the above, in those more Christian countries such as Spain or Portugal, this date is also associated with the birth of Saint John the Baptist (24 of June), who would be an important figure in the arrival of Jesus in the face of Humanity.
According to the above, when is it celebrated? In A Coruña, Barcelona, Almería and many other places, the night of June 23 to 24while in Alicante, the big bonfire day is the night of June 24. However, in certain places these parties have already become a Perfect getaway for any traveler with up to 1 week duration.
Where to go the night of San Juan?
Although in Andalusia they have their own traditions (burn "Juanillos" in Cádiz or Línea de Concepción or the water and ham festival in Lanjarón), as in Extremadura (burn of "Mastros"), Balearic Islands (with more equine themes) or La Rioja (Charangas), the fires are the protagonists of almost all of Spain at this time.
Within the big events, there are two that They stand out above all: Alicante and A Coruña
Declared International Tourist Interest, the Bonfires of San Juan are the official holidays of Alicante, who enters the June 20 and 24 they include a program of parades, horseback riding, flower offerings, bullfights and mascletas to reach their final act on June 24 with the burning of the personalized bonfires with cork, cardboard, wood and paint giving them a satirical tone very funny (photos wikipedia).
With much more "magical" charge, the San Juan night in A Coruña already declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest turns the city into one of the main events of the country, already at this time comparable to many other greats, and that has 10 days of intense program (from June 15 to 24) become a tourist and cultural reference of the international scene.
The best night of San Juan in Spain: A Coruña
From June 15, with the traditional Sports Day, the city takes to the streets until June 24, A Coruña is transformed neighborhood by neighborhood into a cultural paradise of activities, where music, burning of faults, horseback riding, verbenas in parks, gardens and children's events
Dozens of tourist companies throughout Europe, charter flights and a strong sponsorship in social networks and the world 2.0, enhance these holidays every year so that more and more people explode the spirit of fire that June 23 at night .
Although the day starts soon, it is from noon when the fires begin to take the beaches of the Orzán and Riazor, the most emblematic point of the city, already being delivered by the City Council! 150 tons of wood !! (6 times more than a few years ago) and wrapping the atmosphere of the city in a halo of very particular mysticism while the sun disappears across the horizon on one of the shortest nights of the year.
Rituals for the night of San Juan
"In San Xoán, Meigas and Bruxas will fuxas" (In San Juan, Meigas and Brujas will flee). And it is that the "most magical night" in A Coruña, communicates the afterlife with this world, and it is the time of the year to scare away evil spirits and bring out the most ancient Celtic traditions, spells and spells. To do this you have to jump at least nine times the bonfire, to which powers of protection and purification are attributed, although some also use these dates to prepare the traditional queimada consisting of burning water and sugar with lemon and / or orange rind that is called until it is consumed.
Another basic ritual is wash your face with dried wild flowers or aromatic plants, which cleanse the spirit in addition to having important therapeutic effects, which is done the next morning or during the day of San Juan (June 24).
The calm waves of Riazor or Orzan in these dates also allow to fulfill the bath rite purifier, the jump of the nine waves that offers each person the attribute of fertility.
If you want your wishes to be fulfilled, throw any of the Chinese lanterns on the air that are distributed and that cover the skies once the fires are lit, creating another moment full of spell and appeal
And gastronomic?"In San Xoán, a sardiña molla or pan" (In San Juan, the sardine dips the bread). If in a normal month the fish market in A Coruña can sell 60 tons of sardines, in June of last year they were sold !! 216 tons! And it is that we are in a better month of sardine, when it releases that fat that in contact with the bread that supports it when it is roasted it achieves an unmistakable flavor, being the protagonist queen of this holiday. Those who wish to accompany it "cachelos" (roasted potatoes with their skin, and subsequently removed)
Bonfires of the Night of San Juan, the climax to a magical night
When the shadows begin to dominate the most fascinating corners of the city, squares and alleys, hundreds of thousands of people cram over the main beaches, some expectant and others proactive.
The Major Meiga or the Feast of the Poetic Solstice serve as an unparalleled prologue of the arrival of the night, when a ride that transports the meigas runs along the promenade and thousands of bonfires begin to reflect their flames before the expectant calm of the Atlantic breaking their waves. Is the magic hour par excellence, the hour when the beach becomes a dance of the spirit of fire, one of the most spectacular in the world.
Then come the rituals of the night of San Juan mentioned above, the time to scare away evil spirits, to fertilize or simply cleanse the soul, while others simply enjoy a panorama never seen before.
The shortest night becomes the longest night, that of the fireworks, the one of the dozens of desires that furrow the sky in their lanterns or that of the multiple pubs and cafes of the Paseo Marítimo and marching areas that receive young people (and not so young) until dawn.
It is time, one more year, to receive the night of San Juan. Have you had doubts about where to celebrate it? A Coruña awaits you at its quintessential popular party ... the most magical night
Paula and Isaac, waiting for a new "magic night" in A Coruña