The night of San Juan is an ancient tradition and considered the most magical night of the year celebrated between 23rd and 24th June all over Spain, especially in Valencia. In addition, this night is the shortest night of the year which marks the beginning of the summer and includes different rituals.
In pre-Christian times, the people of the city started to commemorate this night as a magical ceremony to fight against evil spirits and to thank the sun to continue caring for the earth. When Christianity extends over the Roman Empire, heathen ritual also became Christianized as Zacharias, the father of Juan the Baptist, asked to light a bonfire on June 23rd to celebrate the birth of his son. Since then, in Valencia, the Night of San Juan became noted for both Christians and heathens.
The most beautiful rituals of San Juan Night:
The San Juan night is the most impressive night at Valencia because it marks the beginning of summer with huge bonfires in different beaches as ‘’Patacona’’, ‘’Arenas’’ and ‘’Malvarrosa’’. Besides, in Valencia the tradition begins at midnight on the 23rd it’s when you must jump seven waves and then swim in the sea to purify the evil spirits and eliminate all sorts of bad energies around you.
Furthermore, some people prefer to write a wish for a year of wealth, work and health or writing things they want to forget in a paper and throw it in the fire, and walking barefoot over the sands or even the coals from the bonfires, Each one has its own ritual, but what everyone agrees on is that San Juan is a night of celebrating at the beach until sunrise.
After the rituals, the bonfires become a scene of light and fire on ‘’Malvarrosa’’ beach. Almost everyone starts to cook dinners which include the supper, delicious sardines, mouth-watering sausage and potatoes.
After this night, you can enjoy doing other things like discovering different beautiful places in Valencia:
The first monument is the modern Oceanographic area of the City of Arts and Sciences where you can find a magnificent aquarium and the dolphin-shows. The second one is the Turia Gardens where you can walk, ride bikes and run. The third one is discovering the impressive cathedral which was a Roman temple stood, and built between the 13th and 15th centuries, this cathedral includes gorgeous painting by Goya and other important artists.
The last one is the modernized Royal Marina Port with its eye-catching ‘’Veles e Vents’’ building. While you are visiting Valencia try to enjoy the Valencian seas and amuse with the beautiful sands and shiny sun.
San Juan fiesta is a thrilling night and a perfect reason to discover Spain, which compounds traditional, Christian and pagan rituals. Also, the major theme of the night are bonfires where you can have a great night with friends around the fire, enjoy concerts and see the allure atmosphere along the beach.