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Thousands take to the beaches for San Juan to welcome in the summer

La Misericordia beach in Malaga.
La Misericordia beach in Malaga. / M. F.
  • The celebrations included live music, entertainment, bonfires and fireworks

Thousands of people descended on the beaches of the Costa del Sol on Sunday night to participate in the San Juan celebrations.

People enjoying the music on Los Álamos beach in Torremolinos.

People enjoying the music on Los Álamos beach in Torremolinos. / Ñ. S.

As well as being the eve of a saint's day, San Juan marks the beginning of the summer and is shrouded in pagan rituals, of which water and fire are at the forefront. According to tradition, the water is at its purest on the eve of San Juan. Fires are lit to ward off evil spirits and participants leap over the flames and then swim in the sea to clean and purify the soul.

Thousands take to the beaches for San Juan to welcome in the summer

/ E: C.

At midnight firework displays marked the arrival of the Feast of St John the Baptist. It is one of the few saints' days which commemorate the anniversary of the birth, rather than the death, of the saint.

Salida beach in Marbella.

Salida beach in Marbella. / JOSELE-LANZA

Jumping over the fire in Fuengirola.

Jumping over the fire in Fuengirola. / B. M

The celebrations included the burning of juas on the fire, an effigy similar to Guy Fawkes, and grilling 'espetos' of sardines, before swimming in the sea as the clock strikes twelve.

La Malagueta beach in Malaga city had one of the bigger celebrations with live music and entertainment continuing into the early hours of the morning. While La Misericordia had a huge bonfire and the firework display which was seen throughout the bay.

Thousands take to the beaches for San Juan to welcome in the summer

/ M. F.