San Juan Night

La Noche de San Juan, or San Juan Night, is a festival marked by ritual and celebrated throughout Spain commemorating the shortest night and longest day of the year. Each region of Spain has a different twist on how they celebrate it, however, they all incorporate bonfires, good food and drink, and great friends. Basically, it is as good a reason as any to party.

The festival of San Juan is held on the eve of June 23 and lasts until the wee hours of June 24th. It traditionally marks the beginning of the summer solstice and has its roots in pagan rituals. The elements of fire, water, and light are all embedded in the tradition. Massive bonfires are built on the beaches in Marbella and the Costa del Sol, which represent the purification of the spirit. Huge paper mâché figures and faces are then burned through the night, sometimes starting only at midnight There is also a tradition, which states that if you jump over the bonfire three times on San Juan Night, you will be cleansed and purified burning all your problems away.

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