Fiestas - SAN JUAN FIESTA (Hogueras de San Juan) 21st - 24th June
The San Juan Fiesta is held every year to celebrate the shortest night and the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of summer, also known as the Summer Solstice Festival.
This is an old Pagan ritual based on fire and water. It originated in the neighbouring city of Alicante and dates back to when Alicantinos farmers celebrated the longest day of the year on which the harvest was gathered, and the shortest night where all evil is destroyed. This is the meaning of the fiesta, with the destruction of bad feelings and bad experiences, and welcoming new desires.
The fiesta actually starts with the building of the bonfires etc from 21st June (Summer Solstice) but the main fiesta where everyone will be on the beach starts on the evening of the 23rd June and runs into the early hours of 24th. The 24th June is a Public Holiday, shops, offices etc may be CLOSED.
The Fire Element
Bonfires and papier mache figures (Ninot) are built on the beaches, at midnight the bonfires are lit and people will be seen jumping over the ashes to "Cleanse and purify the Spirit"
The Water Element
According to Pagan tradition the water element is seen to recuperate and rejuvenate again bringing good luck for the coming year.
As midnight approaches everyone moves closer to the shore line where some will just paddle others will go for a swim again this is to bring luck for the new season and wash away evil spirits.
This is a great evening and one not to be missed if you are here. The beaches will be very very busy as its a popular fiesta.
Pack swimwear and do what all the locals do and take a picnic, get there nice and early as there will be 1000´s there. There will be temporary bars along the beach and music into the early hours and of course fireworks, no fiesta is complete without fireworks.
LOCAL SAN JUAN EVENTS
Alicante San Juan Fiesta
The largest San Juan event in the area is Alicante The Fogueres de Sant Joan Festivals and these are one of the most important events in the city’s diary. This festival has been officially declared to be of International Tourist Interest and its origins lie in the tradition of burning useless objects with the arrival of the summer solstice.
Alicante celebrate this fiesta slightly longer than most other towns and cities and it begins on the 20th June and lasting until the 29th. It is a festival dedicated to fire, including events such as the proclamation (The Pregón), the setting up of the bonfires (the Plantà), the procession of the effigies (Cabalgata del Ninot), parades and processions in different neighbourhoods of the city and the main event on the 24th June, the feast day of Saint John Baptist, when large Ninots are set alight.
What’s a ninot? A ninot is a figure that is part of a falla scene. It is an individual, free-standing satirical figure, usually in the shape of a popular character or famous person.
Benidorm San Juan
Unfortunately this is not held in Benidorm itself due to the strict laws prohibiting beach fires, due to the risk of burns to people who come to the beach the next day, from glowing embers under the sand, but there will still be 100s of people on the beaches running into the sea to bring in San Juan and the beaches are officially open until the early hours of the morning.
*Remember that it is not allowed to make bonfires or access the beaches with glass containers.
During the night of San Juan, the lifeguard and rescue service will operate with extended and uninterrupted hours until 03:00. There will be three ambulance vehicles with medical personnel on the three beaches (parked on Bilbao street, Paseo de Colón and Vicente Llorca Alós avenue), to which the zodiac service will be added. Levante beach will be attended by 4 lifeguards , Poniente by 4 and 1 in Mal Pas, to make sure the night goes without any incidents. Cleaning crews will be working from 20:00 distributing garbage bags among the groups of people who are on the beach and from 03:00 the big clean up will begin.
Public toilets will be open until 03:00.
Levante beach from previous years.
The main event is only a short distance away in La Cala de Finestrat.
La Cala 2023
The traditional "Night of San Juan" at Cala de Finestrat has received the honorary title of Festival of Provincial Tourist Interest of the Valencian Community. It is a distinction that comes to recognize the popular and deep-rooted character of this festival in which the participation of all citizens and the integration of visitors and tourists is encouraged.
Events will begin at 17:30 with a Zumba session in the sand, from 19:30 a children's disco and, from 22:30, live music with “Los Astrolabios.” This program includes a break at midnight to participate in the tradition of jumping the waves and making wishes. Then, until 01:30. there will be music with DJ Jaime Llorca.
“it will not be possible to make fires, or use flying lanterns; It will not be possible to access with firewood, wood or glass containers, to avoid risks in the sand also remember Cala de Finestrat is a non smoking beach.
There will be a bar by the anchor statue, where you can buy drinks, burgers and bocadillos, a bonfire at midnight and live music till late.
Altea San Juan Schedule of Events