El Cable beach in Marbella.

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El Cable beach in Marbella. Josele

The night of fire that officially welcomed in summer on the Costa del Sol

All along the coastline of Malaga province, people young and old have celebrated the traditional festival of San Juan, and many had the same wish this year

Francisco Gutiérrez


Monday, 24 June 2024, 10:05

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From Manilva in the west to Nerja in the east, all the Costa del Sol municipalities of Malaga province have celebrated the long-awaited arrival of summer. Thousands of locals and tourists of all ages took the traditional midnight swim and celebrated around the purifying fire on the shortest night of the year.

People filled beaches and promenades along the coast, as well as bars and restaurants. The partying started on Saturday night following Malaga CF's epic ascent to the second division, with many beachgoers wearing the team's shirts and colours.

Free space on the beach of La Malagueta beach in Malaga city was scarce, while families were also grouped together on grass and beneath the shade of palm trees. There were many rubbish bins provided along the beaches to avoid people littering and prevent the piles of waste which were left along the Malaga coastline last year.

El Cable beach in Marbella. Josele
Imagen principal - El Cable beach in Marbella.
Imagen secundaria 1 - El Cable beach in Marbella.
Imagen secundaria 2 - El Cable beach in Marbella.

As in previous years, the San Juan evening organised by Malaga city hall took place on the beach of La Misericordia. The band A Compás entertained crowds gathered at Glorieta 1º de Mayo from 10pm onwards.

The music and the traditional burning of the 'júa' on a bonfire are a great attraction, with a noticeably large group of people gathered to enjoy it. This was the case for Mariela and a number of friends of different nationalities. They have been meeting on the night of San Juan for several years. They lay towels on the beach and enjoy some typical food from each other's home countries. For Mariela, she is reminded of the festival in the countryside of her native Argentina, where dolls were stuffed and burnt.

María, Antonia, Juan and Adela had already taken their places at La Misericordia to listen to the music and watch the fireworks. They live nearby, in the area of Las Delicias and La Luz. Adela expresses her wish for this year, which is "for the price of oil to go down". "We have to cook with sunflower oil, and it's not the same," she said.

Patri, Yésica, Sergio, Alberto, Pedro, Virgina and the children Nacho and Dalia, in the tent they took to the beach. Isidro González

Under another tent, Patri, Yésica, Virginia, Sergio, Alberto, Pedro and children Nacho and Dalia waited for nightfall. Patri, eight months pregnant, will wish for everything to go well. Meanwhile, Virginia wishes to pass the exam to become a primary school teacher which she took on Saturday.

Around a portable barbecue, Mariela, Camila, Romina and Rafael were preparing something for dinner. They are originally from Paraguay, but have been in Malaga for some time and like to participate in the traditions of the city that has welcomed them. "At 12am we will take a dip in the sea for good luck," Mariela said.

Shortly before midnight, a fireworks display kicked off from the Espigón de la Térmica. The fireworks illuminated the Malaga sky for a quarter of an hour, competing with a full moon. This year's júa, also set up in La Misericordia, made reference to the price of oil: the creative and technical expert of Fiestas Fernando Wilson represented two oil cans and above them the Parthenon, the Olympus of the gods, crowned with the symbol of the euro - the wish of many present which was for the price of olive oil to fall.

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