There is something mystical and magical about the summer solstice. All over the world, ancient civilisations recognised the significance of the day. Even today, thousands of Tinerfeños welcome in summer with the lighting of fires and a moonlight dip in the sea on beaches all around the island.
This type of party might sound like some pagan ritual in fact in some of the popular areas you could be forgiven for thinking you are seeing a Guanche walking on the beach, but by connecting it with San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist) it has become one of the most popular festivals of the island.
On the eve of San Juan, 23rd June, the beaches are filled with people of all ages, it is usually the young you see jumping over the flames that are said to purify and burn away the jumpers problems whilst us older ones stick to dipping our toes in the sea to cleanse and bring us luck for the coming year.
As the evening wears on smoke can be seen as it swirls above the hills in south Tenerife, particularly close to places like El Médano, Los Cristianos and of course the fiesta’s namesake, Playa San Juan. On San Juan beach the most spectacular firework displays take place all livened up with live music. If like us, you are fortunate to have friends living close by you can view all of this from their balcony rather than from the scrum of the crowds that attend. Otherwise, you will need to get there long before the sun goes down and be prepared for a long walk once you have found a parking slot!
In the north Puerto de la Cruz takes the party one stage further with the bathing of goats (Baño de Cabras) early the following morning. I must admit, when I saw this I was a teensy bit disappointed don´t know why but I was just expecting more, so this year I will stay closer to home.
Wherever you celebrate la Noche or el Día de San Juan, I hope you have a great time.