The arrival of Summer in Spain

San Juan Fest

Many regions on this country is celebrating on the 23rd June the arrival of summer with the Bonfires of San Juan. In an atmosphere of music, colour, fireworks and extravagance, thousands of people throng the streets to experience this fiesta which pays tribute to fire.

La Fiesta de San Juan is a massive festival celebrated in many Catalan-speaking towns and communities located primarily in the Southern regions, like Catalonia and Valencia

La Fiesta de San Juan is an exciting time and a great reason to visit Spain.
It combines traditional Christian, Catholic and pagan rituals and beliefs to make one amazing festival that Spaniards and visitors will never forget.

I would love to mention a couple of  locations where I personaly have been and I want to give you an idea of what Saint Juan night represents to us:

  • Destination : Pyrenees – in ISIL (Pallars Sobirà – Sort, Lleida) ; This festival, which coincides with summer solstice is held on St. Johns’ day (San Joan), on June 23rd in the little town of Isil, in Pallars Sobirà.
    Ritual dances are the main star of this spectacular show, however the night actually begins high up on the mountain, with the lighting of torches in the dark night.
    The night finishes with the orchestra playing songs and all kinds of dancing until early in the morning.
    The Falles of Isil was declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest by the Spanish government
    You can find more info at : Falles d’Isil

  • Destination : in Valencia comunity: To celebrate the arrival of summer, the people of Alicante would traditionally flock to the countryside on 23 June for a festive dinner: they feasted on typical products, and at midnight they would light bonfires and dance around them, set off fireworks and go swimming in the sea.
    This custom endured over the years, and in 1928 the fiestas of the Bonfires of San Juan were formally constituted. For several days, Alicante celebrates this great homage to fire, a relation of the “Fallas” in Valencia, where the main characters are genuine works of impermanent art: the bonfires and the enormous cardboard and wooden figures which go up in flames on the night of San Juan.
    The queen of the fiesta, known as the “Beauty of Fire”, is chosen in May from among the candidates presented by a committee in each neighbourhood. The festivities officially begin on 20 June with the building of enormous bonfires with their tongue-in-cheek cardboard figures which fill the streets of Alicante with wit and good humour.

So, if you are planning to come to Spain to now you know where to get ready to welcome the Summer.

Happy San Juan Festivity!!!