A Noche de San Juan before the pandemic. / sur

Malaga celebrates its first Noche de San Juan in three years tonight

The city council has issued a reminder that people are not permitted to light their own fires on the sand and extra police will be on duty to ensure that nobody takes material to burn onto the beach

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ Malaga

Many people will be heading for the beaches of the Costa del Sol this evening, Thursday 23 June, to celebrate the Noche de San Juan, a very popular event which has not been celebrated properly in many places since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic restrictions.

The highlight in Malaga city will be the huge bonfire built by the council on La Misericordia beach, by the 1º de Mayo roundabout, and the burning of a 'júa', which is similar to the 'guy' which is placed on 5 November bonfires in the UK. The one in Malaga this year will be in the form of protest against the war in Ukraine. The seven-metre-tall structure has been designed by Fernando Wilson, a technician with the council's Festivals deparment.

The festivities are due to begin at 10.30pm with a performance by the Ritmo Andaluz group. The bonfire will be lit at midnight: six tubes of streamers will be fired together with a firework which will set it alight. At the same time there will be a visual display created by four machines which reproduce curtains of fire (they are not actually pyrotechnic), and robotic flamethrowers will also be used.

Musical firework display

Following the bonfire and the burning of the 'júa', there will be a musical firework display on the breakwater at La Térmica, which will last for about 11 minutes.

Malaga council has issued a reminder that people are not permitted to light their own fires on the sand. Five special containers will be available at El Chanquete, Plaza de las Palmeras, La Malagueta, La Cizaña and Peñón del Cuervo so that anyone who was planning to have a bonfire and has taken timber or other items to burn can deposit it in those.

Local Police officers will also be on duty to stop people taking material to burn onto the beach, and will also be keeping an eye out for groups of youngsters who consume alcoholic drinks in public.