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CULTURE

Thousands head to the beaches this evening for festivities that include a midnight dip in the sea
20.06.14 - 15:23 -
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Beach parties and fireworks for San Juan
Bonefire on the beach:: SUR
As the tilt of our planet’s semi axis is inclined closer towards the sun, one of the biggest celebrations in Spain takes place.
Marking the year’s longest day, its shortest night, and the start of the holidays, the summer solstice is steeped in superstition and history and has been of great significance in many cultures and civilisations for thousands of years. In Spanish culture, the celebration also coincides with the eve of the feast of John the Baptist, on the night of 23rd June.
Despite many traditions pertaining to paganism having died out through years of strong Christian influence, there are a few that have survived.
People of all ages will be taking part in the large bonfires that light up the Costa del Sol each year by throwing in old unwanted items or wishes written down on pieces of paper, and as the feast coincides with the end of the exam period, many students too will be bidding their notes farewell by burning them on the beaches.
‘Juanillo’ or ‘Juá’ figures will also be burnt, and tradition has it that hopping over the bonfire on the night of San Juan will burn away burdens and troubles, and perhaps bring good fortune and fertility.
Around midnight, hundreds will also be descending into the sea to make three wishes.
If you can, it is recommended to visit towns where San Juan is the patron saint such as Alhaurín de la Torre and Arroyo de La Miel.
David Civera, Cantores de Híspalis and Sergio Contreras will be entertaining this year’s crowds as well as others in Alhaurín de la Torre. 20 June will see the choosing of the Gala King and Queen in the town along with performances by Agrupación Folclórica Solera and others and the firework display.
The following days will include a children’s party, a feria with paella and drinks tasting, and performances from the aforementioned artists.
As well as in Alhaurín de la Torre, the Feria de San Juan is celebrated yearly around 24 June in Arroyo de la Miel in Benalmádena.
There is usually a week long party with music, fairgrounds, flamenco and various cultural events.
As many of the towns will be hosting special activities and firework displays, it is certainly a unique celebration not to be missed.
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