One of the most awaiting festivals of the summer season is the night of San Juan (St.John's Night), which is celebrated all over Spain but with extreme passion on the coastal areas. There are so many traditions based around St.Juan. It is a time to make weather forecasts, divine the fate of romance, protect yourself from evil spirits and purify yourself.
On the 24th June (the day of the summer solstice), bonfires are lit in order to scare away evil spirits. Some of the bonfires are of huge proportions and will burn all night. The tradition of burning the 'Judas Dolls' is carried out all over the Malaga Province and along the beach, huge, all night parties are held.
Some tradions during San Juan
To discover which month in the following year will have rain, cut an onion into 12 parts and in each piece, place a handful of salt. Place them in a row somewhere outside and nominate each for a particular month. In the morning, look at the onion parts and those where the salt has turned to water indicates which months will have rain.
To know if love is true
Place two black fig tree leaves outdoors on St.John's Eve, one representing each lover.On the next day, how fresh each leave looks will indicate how much one person loves the other.
For good luck and to preserve beauty
Wash your feet and face in the sea or river, around midnight. Alternatively, jump over the fire. three times.
To see a dead person's face
Pour alcohol into a frying pan along with sulphur. Turn out the lights and all the faces of those present will look like the face of a dead person.
To banish evils
Write them on a piece of paper and toss them into the fire. There are also those who throw prayers into the fire.
Wash your head three times whilst asking for three wishes.
One more year of life
It is said that the first rays of light on St.John's day are magical and some say they can help predict if you will live untill June 24th the following year. Stand in a doorway, facing the door as the first rays of dawn appear. Look at your shadow. If the shadow has no head you will die before the next Eve of San Juan. A variation is to look at your reflection in the river. If you see two faces, you will die soon.
To know the name of your future partner
Place a bucket of water out at midnight on the night of San Juan. As day breaks, toss the water to the street and the first person to walk by, you ask their name. This is the name of the person you will marry.
In Fuengirola, San Juan is celebrated with the Boquetillo Fiesta. This is the largest party of the year and takes over the whole beach. Preparations last all day and by late afternoon, people head for the beach. They will take all they need with them for an all night party. They will have their own bonfires and sit round thyem whilst eating, drinking, talking and dancing. At midnight they will go into the sea. On one of the beaches in Fuengirola there is a large stage set up. All night will feature dance music and various acts. Hundreds of thousands of youngsters will attend, most sleeping on the beach afterwards. It's normal for the music to go on until around 6am.