The summer solstice is celebrated by many European countries and nowhere more than in Tenerife. The festival of San Juan is one of the most deeply rooted cultural events and takes place right across the island. In the south particularly popular are El Médano and Los Cristianos and of course Playa de San Juan.
From early June local people start collecting wood for their bonfires which they light on Midsummer Eve. In every coastal town and village, you will see a string of bonfires lining the shore as far as the eye can see. These are awaiting young people who follow the tradition of jumping over the flames in order to reduce evil to ashes and guarantee prosperity and good luck for the rest of the year.
I will be celebrating Midsummer Eve in the fiesta’s namesake Playa San Juan where I have visited on this magical night, numerous times. The streets will be crowded, the fires will be lit, music and dancing will take place in the open air and there will be a massive firework display. It is a spectacular event.
These festivals are an example that it is possible to showcase cultural events enriched with new contributions adapted to modern times and still project the true image of the Island.