Midsummer’s Eve: St. John’s bonfires night in Malaga

The next June 23, thousands of people of all ages will celebrate along the coast of Malaga the shortest night of the year at the summer solstice known as the ‘Night of San Juan’ in Spain, also called St. John’s bonfires or Midsummer’s Eve.

As you can see in the picture, the coastal beaches are floodlite at night with hundreds of bonfires and campfires to spend an evening with friends and family celebrating, eating, drinking, singing and dancing.

Night of San Juan

It almost doesn´t matter in which coastal town you are staying during this night; you just have to approach the sea shore and you’re in the middle of the party. Many people prepare for that night the “complete kit” for the summer solstice: A bathing suit under your clothes (important, we explain later why), paper, pencil, food and drink, barbecues, many people and even more eagerness to have fun.

Where to celebrate the Night of San Juan (bonfires of St. John’s) in Malaga?

At the most popular beaches of the Costa del Sol are organized events and concerts, which are also listed below (The events below are from past years, but they use to make similar organised events every year on the same places):

  • In Malaga city, the epicenter of fun is the beach La Malagueta, in past events there were two concerts of live music starting at 11 pm, it is common they organized live concerts every year.
  • In Torremolinos, the party takes place on the beach of La Carihuela.
  • In Benalmadena, the most popular beaches to celebrate are the central beaches of Santa Ana and Bil-Bil.
  • In Fuengirola in past events the event began at 2 pm with Paella, grilled sardines and lasted until dawn, with cocktails, DJs and salsa music.
  • In Marbella in past events it was set up a stage for a concert and DJs at Pinillo Beach, starting at 8 pm. In San Pedro de Alcantara the stage was placed on the beach of La Salida, also with a concert and DJs. This beach  featured a children’s area with inflatable attractions and entertainment for children.
  • In Estepona gather many people on the playa del Cristo.
  • And in Torre del Mar on the eastern Costa del Sol, on the beach of El Copo, there were grilled sardines after 9 pm, entertainment and DJs.

However, these are the most popular and busy beaches; in fact everywhere there are fires all along the coast; if you have not experienced yet, you should join in, it is very impressive.

Superstitions and rituals during Midsummer’s Eve

Now, the details of St. John’s Night: Related to the shortest night of the year in each municipality there are a number of superstitions related to fire and water.

If you like, join in to burn things you want to forget (written on a piece of paper), acquire eternal beauty taking a bath in the waves at midnight (It is worth to take the bathing suit because there are many people who jump into the water at midnight and its great fun!) or jump over the fire for good luck throughout the year (not like me as I did when I was 6 years old and burned my leg, so be careful). It is certainly a unique experience in Malaga.

Other options for Midsummer’s Eve

Those who prefer to celebrate the Night of San Juan a little more distinguished by the sea, have a vast range of exclusive beach clubs (Nikki Beach, Marbella) and top-class hotels offering midsummer dinners and parties.

Want to know more about Night of San Juan? This website will show you the history of this night and more detailed rituals you can do.


Raúl G.T

Raúl G.T

Developer and content editor at Malagaweb.com
Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.
Raúl G.T

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Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.

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