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San Juan night in Andalusia: When and where is it celebrated?

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The San Juan night is on 23 June, although the feast of San Juan is on 24 June. It is one of the oldest traditions celebrating the birth of Saint John the Baptist. Pagan tradition states that bonfires had to be lit to give more strength to the sun during his trance in the midsummer solstice.

If you have the opportunity to celebrate this magical night in the coastal areas of Andalusia, here are the two most outstanding destinations, in our opinion, to celebrate San Juan this summer, Malaga y Cadiz.

Celebrate the night of San Juan in Malaga - The shortest night of the year

A group of young people on the beach at sunset.
A group of young people on the beach at sunset.

The celebration of San Juan is one of the most deeply-rooted festivities of the Costa del Sol, where groups of friends and family gather on the beaches of Malaga to celebrate the arrival of summer and experience a magical night, known as the "summer night". the shortest night of the year.

Some of the rituals for the night of San Juan in Malaga are to carry out the typical moragas, where a multitude of bonfires on the beaches all along the coast for the burning of the "Júas".This is a way of warding off evil, and where the famous "espetos de sardinas" (sardine skewers) are not to be missed. From midnight on 23 JuneIt is also customary to dip one's feet in the sea, as according to legend, this is the way to change one's fortune and start a new season with better luck.

At Malaga city the party concentrates on the Malagueta BeachThere are usually live music concerts from early evening and fireworks are set off. Other beaches of note on this special night are the La Misericordia (Malaga), Bil-Bil Castle (Benalmádena), El Pinillo (Marbella), San Pedro Alcántara (Marbella) or El Cristo (Estepona).

What's new! - Midsummer Night 2024 in Malaga

sardine skewer
sardine skewer

Malaga will celebrate the Night of Midsummer 2024 with a Málaga CF themed 'júa' to be burnt on Misericordia beachon the Paseo Marítimo Antonio Banderas, at the Glorieta 1º de Mayo.

This will be followed by a fireworks display which will be fired from the jetty of La Térmica at 00:00h, with a duration of approximately 10 minutes.

To end the evening with performances of the orchestra Ritmo Andaluz from 22:30h until 01:00h.

We provide you with the location of how to get to Misericordia Beach so that you can enjoy the festival of San Juan in Malaga.

Noche de San Juan in Cádiz - Los Juanillos as protagonists

Man walking on the beach in Cádiz
Man walking on the beach in Cádiz

The peculiarity of the Midsummer night in many municipalities in the province of Cadiz, is celebrated with a parade of rag dolls and puppets, commonly known as "puppets".Juanillos"which begins in the afternoon of 23 Juneaccompanied by a brass band that accompanies them to the beach, where they will later be burnt in bonfires scattered throughout the city.

In addition, some municipalities also hold "Juanillos" competitions to reward the best puppet and the best bonfire. Artistic quality, humour, ingenuity and Cadiz tradition are valued in the scoring.

After the burning of these dolls, a fireworks display will be held from the San Sebastian Castlebeing the La Caleta beach an ideal setting to enjoy the play of lights in the Cadiz sky and to kick off the summer. Other beaches where you can celebrate this night of San Juan would be in the Fontanilla beach (Conil de la Frontera), in the beaches of Bolonia, Chiclana or in those of Rota.

What's new! - Noche de San Juan 2024 in El Puerto

Fireworks on San Juan night

As every summer the Valdelagrana promenade in El Puerto de Santa María will host the St John's Nights Market between Friday 23 June and Sunday 25 June.

This market has 43 stalls where you will find numerous animation activities. Opening on Friday 23rd June at 20:00h with a musical parades and at 23:45h the bonfire will be located in the area of the beach with its respective fireworks display.

We provide you with the location of how to get to Valdelagrana Beach so that you can enjoy the festival of San Juan in El Puerto de Santa María.

As mentioned above, the night of San Juan is a magical night for the majority of Andalusians.. However, in addition to the province of Malaga and Cadiz, this festival is also celebrated on the coasts of Granada, Huelva and Almeria. Attracting thousands of tourists year after year. It is a tradition that should not be lost. 

Taking advantage of the fact that you are in Cádiz, you can make a day trip to Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegasone of the most famous white villages in Cádiz. An excellent way to discover all the charms of this fascinating province.

Don't miss the opportunity to continue visiting from Malaga or Cadiz with our excursions, here are our favourites:

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