This weekend, the night of the 23rd is not only the shortest night of the year but also its most special and magical. The Night of San Juan which will be celebrated between the night of the 23rd and the early morning of the 24th, is a festival of great popularity throughout the Mediterranean. In this originally pagan festival which is linked to sun worship the summer is officially welcomed by the lighting of bonfires.

It is a celebration that has its roots in Spain, although its traditions, customs and rituals are very diverse and different according to the province you find yourself in. Despite this, common elements are commonly observed, such as making bonfires in the streets and the squares of towns or on beaches for those who live near the coast. Family and friends gather together with food, drink and firewood for their bonfires, in order to spend an unforgettable night together. In recent years, music has also found its way into these celebrations, with singing and dancing all through the night.

This night has long been associated with good luck rituals, involving the elements of fire and water, in which wishes are made. The superstitious believe that it is a Magical Night, perfect for spells and witchcraft … And they have some rituals, which should be carried out, if your wishes are to come true. Would you like to enjoy some good fortune and good luck? Here is a list of the most common rituals:

  • At midnight jump over the embers of the bonfire seven or nine times. Make a wish.
  • A midnight swim in the sea, jumping seven waves backwards. Make a wish.
  • Burn something old or alternatively your wishes written out on a piece of paper in the bonfire.
  • Leave aromatic plants of various kinds to soak overnight. The following morning wash your face with the water which is believed to have cleansing and therapeutic properties.

At Boutique Hotels Spain we invite you to discover the particularities of this celebration throughout the different regions of Spain.

Enjoy the night in Andalusia, where apart from making bonfires on the beaches, they burn rag dolls called juanes in some cities. There are also firework displays and street concerts during the night. Here you can stay at our boutique hotels La Almunia del Valle (Granada), La Almendra y el Gitano (Almeria), Los Castaños (Malaga) or Hotel Holos (Seville).

Enjoy the night in Aragón, where it is celebrated with bonfires and midnight, moonlit dips in rivers and lakes. Here you can stay in our boutique hotels La Fábrica de Solfa (Teruel), La Torre of the Visco (Teruel) or Hotel Barosse (Huesca).

Enjoy the night in Asturias, where according to Celtic tradition at midnight people bathe in fountains, rivers or in the sea, with the belief that on that night: fields, mountains, rivers, streams and springs will be blessed, and the water will bring health and protect from disease. This is also a night with strong associations to many mythical beings from Asturian mythology such as “xanas” female water sprites of extraordinary beauty believed to live in fountains, rivers, waterfalls or forested regions with pure water, goblins or “cuélebres” giant winged serpent-dragons that live in a caves and guard great treasures. Here you can stay in our boutique hotels Torre de Villademoros or Palacio de Cutre.

Enjoy the night in the Balearic Islands, where in Menorca it is tradition to see horsemen or “caixers” mounted on horseback and riding through the streets dressed in black and white. The traditional “jaleo” is celebrated, with demonstrations of horsemanship making the horses jump to the rhythm of the typical songs of these parties. Here you can stay in our boutique hotels Alcaufar Vell (Menorca), Jardí de Ses Bruixes (Menorca) or Can Verdera Hotel (Mallorca).

Enjoy the celebrations in Castilla y León, where the festivities of San Juan and San Pedro are celebrated. Here they light several bonfires for San Juan and honour various ancient legends. As well running with the bulls and “capeas” (where young men acrobatically dodge young bulls in a ring without harming them) are held. Here you can stay in our boutique hotels Valle de la Oca (Burgos), Hotel Ayllón (Segovia), Posada Real La Cartería (Zamora) or Posada La Pascasia (Zamora).

Enjoy the night in Catalonia, where it is called the “Nit del Foc” or the Night of Fire. Many orchestras and bands enliven the different neighbourhoods of the city, they throw firecrackers and bangers and there are also many parties on the beach until the small hours of the morning. Here you can stay in our boutique hotels Racó de Madremanya (Girona) or La Garriga de Castelladral (Barcelona)

Enjoy the night in the Valencian Community, where the in the province of Alicante the well-known bonfires are artistic monuments, similar to the Fallas you can see in Valencia in the month of March. They are burned on the night of 24th. Here you can stay in our hotels boutique Castell de la Solana (Alicante), El Secanet (Valencia) or El Jardín Vertical (Castellón).

Discover this special celebration, one of the most deeply rooted in Spain, with us …We hope to be your destination of choice! See you on your travels!