San Juan Bautista is Tenerife’s midsummer festival and bonfire night Thursday 23 June

San Juan Bautista is Tenerife’s midsummer festival and bonfire night Thursday 23 June

Noche de San Juan in El Médano 2015. Photo: Nikki Attree

Updated 20 June: Just a reminder of this Thursday evening – the Noche de Fuego – throughout Tenerife. As I said in the original post, some ayuntamientos have tried to limit fires on the beaches, but Granadilla at least has bowed to the inevitable to some extent and has announced four official bonfires on La Jaquita, the town beach, and Los Balos in El Médano, and on the main beach in Los Abrigos. The council says that private bonfires are banned (I wonder how many there will actually be!)

One ayuntamiento that throws itself into the festivities is Arona, which has announced Los Cristianos’ beach party starting from 5pm.

noche fuego

It starts at 5pm and will go on all evening and for much of the night, with environmental workshops, parades, DJ’S and officially approved bonfires on the beach. The council asks that throughout the borough – and by extension throughout Tenerife – people just take care with their fires, lighting them in safe areas and particularly nowhere near buildings or country and forested areas. Keep them to a sensible size, too … Arona says the council’s own limits for people’s fires are 3m high and 3m diameter. Tyres cannot be burnt.

There’ll be bonfires everywhere in Tenerife on Wednesday evening. Stay safe, and have a wonderful time!

Original post 5 June: Tenerife has its own bonfire night, on the eve of the annual midsummer festival of San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist). On St John’s Eve, 23 June, Tenerife is lit up with bonfires, and with smoke swirling in the hills throughout the island, many visitors often think that an early summer fire has broken out. This year is certain to be no different.

The celebrations are not restricted to the inland hills and villages, however, with fires and parties on many beaches. Particularly popular are the ones held in El Médano and Los Cristianos, but the most spectacular will again be the celebration at the fiesta’s namesake beach, Playa San Juan, on the west coast. If you are near one of these beach parties, which continue despite occasional attempts by local Ayuntamientos to ban them, you might even see some people leaping over the flames three times, a ritual considered to be purifying, representing a burning away of the jumper’s sins and misfortunes, and so bringing good luck for the next year.  For more information in English see Don

In Guía de Isora the 24th, San Juan Bautista’s Day itself, is a public holiday, while in Puerto de la Cruz goat keepers from the hills above the town bring their flocks down to the coast to bathe them in the sea in the early morning. This Baño de Cabras (bathing of the goats) is a tradition that is said to date back to pre-Hispanic times, quite literally making the animals a living respresentation of the scapegoat whose purification brings good fortune to all in the local community, and thousands come to watch the spectacle.

Wherever you celebrate la Noche or el Día de San Juan, I hope you have a great and safe time.

1 Comment

  1. Last year we had a great night in El Medano with our South American neighbours. The girls all wrote their wishes for the following year on a piece of paper then burnt it and buried it in the sand. (Wishing for money or love is not allowed). At the stroke of midnight they all went into the sea so the waves could lap twelve times against the back of their legs. Massive crowds with children and many mojitos but not a cross word. Such a combination of crowds drink and revelry with absolute friendliness is an example to other societies. Two policemen initially attempted to enforce the council’s no fire regulation but as crowds grew and fires were set everywhere they returned to their car and left. Well worth attending.

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