Origin of the night of San Juan
Since ancient times, thousands of years ago, a pagan festival of purification and Sun worship has been celebrated in which all negative energies are burned to give way to a new stage of prosperity.
It is celebrated on the night of June 23-24. This is the date when, according to Christian tradition, Zechariah announced the birth of John the Baptist. He did it with a huge bonfire, hence the pagan adaptation with night bonfires on the beaches.
When is San Juan celebrated in Lanzarote?
In Lanzarote, as with many other Spanish coastal areas, the celebration of San Juan takes place on the night of June 23 to 24. It is the way in which coastal areas with a beach welcome the summer.
How is San Juan celebrated on the island of Lanzarote?
The main protagonists of the night of San Juan in Lanzarote are the bonfires. Thousands of them fill the beaches of the island to celebrate this popular festival.
But on this night of fun there are also lots of barbecues, fireworks, concerts and many other activities for the whole family. It varies depending on the location in which it is celebrated, but every corner of the island follows the tradition.
What is the tradition in Lanzarote for the night of San Juan?
The bonfires of San Juan in Lanzarote carry with them a whole ritual that goes from the preparation to the magical moment in which one day gives way to the next.
One of the most deep-rooted traditions is that children – helped by the elderly – collect the wood and pile it up in bonfires on fields to light the fire.
In Lanzarote, additionally, a doll that everyone calls Facundo is placed on the top of the bonfire and this will also burn when midnight comes around.
Tradition says that you have to light the fires to purify the Sun and give it more strength. Whole families and groups of friends gather round them preparing barbecues to enjoy the longest night of the year.
At twelve o’clock, an essential step in the night’s ritual is to go into the sea to celebrate the first official swim of the summer.
In Lanzarote other traditions are added to the festival such as the Diabletes and their Fire Dance. This emerged in 1994 in the municipality of Haría which is one of the places on the island where the Night of San Juan is more deeply-rooted.
What are the quietest beaches to spend the night of San Juan with the family?
Haría or Punta Mujeres are two ideal places to enjoy an unforgettable San Juan night in Lanzarote.
But, if you are looking for tranquillity to be with the family, your best option is San Bartolomé.
What are the best beaches to go to for beach parties in San Juan?
One of the beaches in Lanzarote where there are many parties on the night of San Juan is the town of Playa Honda where many people of all ages enjoy concerts, workshops and all kinds of other activities.
Also in Arrecife, in the capital, there are many fantastic activities programmed to enjoy this magical night. And on the beach of El Reducto there is fun for everyone!
Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen are also worth a huge shout out. Every year they surpass themselves with their organisation of the big event.