The Spanish celebrate the festival of St Juan (San Juan el Bautista), on the evening of June 23rd each year, partying on into the 24th. But alas not this year. Another Fiesta cancelled.
This very old and popular festival marks the beginning of El Verano (Summer), in fact friends here in the village tell me that they wouldn`t dream of going into the sea until this date! We of course, think it`s Summer here all year!
Locally, the tradition is to camp overnight on the beaches, with friends and family. Indeed it is the only night that this is allowed. The fires have two symbolic meanings, one is to give the sun more strength as the days get shorter, and the sun gets weaker, and the other is to cleanse the onlookers of their sins.
So the event is still filled with rituals that hark back to its religious roots, midnight effigies are lit, and bonfires leapt over, and those with sins to cleanse, ( St Juan is associated with purification), or who just want to join in, run into the sea.
No festival in Spain is complete without copious amounts of wine and food and of course fireworks. (The Spanish love a firework-the bigger and noisier the better!).