In short

The fires of Saint John are a traditional and popular festival celebrated around the world during the summer solstice, which takes place on the evening of June 23, Midsummer's Eve. It is customary in many towns and villages in Spain; the largest takes place in Alicante, where it is the most important festival in the city. Portugal's biggest festival takes place in Porto, where it is known as the Festa de São João do Porto.

Fires of Saint John


The fires of Saint John, an Iberian custom

New Year's Eve celebrations have their roots in ancient celebrations linked to the summer solstice. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits that roamed freely when the sun turned south again. Later, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other powerful beings.

Fire features in many celebrations, with people gathering together and creating large bonfires from any type of wood, such as old furniture, and sharing food and drinks while teenagers and adults children jump over fires. In some areas, bonfires are traditionally called tequeos, meaning people of the dance. Parties are often held on beaches, where bonfires are lit and a series of fireworks usually take place.

On the Spanish Mediterranean coast, particularly in Catalonia and in Valencia, special dishes like coca de Sant Joan are also served on this occasion. In Alicante, since 1928, the pyres of Saint John have been transformed into elaborate constructions inspired by the Falls of Valencia.

Social networks

Today, Spaniards and Portuguese make the bonfires of Saint John. Large bonfires accompany meals, songs and dances during the night before Saint John. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #23June #saintjean #alicantu


Fires of Saint John