Although San Juan Fiesta is dedicated to Saint John, its tradition refers to pagan times. It’s celebrated on June 23rd, St. John’s Eve and the day of the summer solstice. The main component of the festival is fire, a symbol of the sun. Therefore, it is accompanied by the kindling of bonfires.
The festival is celebrated all over Spain. But some of the most spectacular festivities are observed in coastal cities where boast the most scenic celebration, as the bonfires are set right on the beach.
At midnight, a very special moment of San Juan begins. This is the releasing of wishes into the flames of the bonfires. You’ll see people with pieces of paper, scratching down their wishes and all that they hope to release with the arrival of the new season. Words or sentences are written down, then the pages are burned, disintegrating quickly and symbolizing a cleansing, purification and liberation from the past, and a willingness to look forward to the coming summer, for a new cycle of sun and warmth.