The Night of San Juan
June 24th is the Patron Saint’s day of John the Baptist or San Juan. It is widely celebrated all over the world and on mainland Spain, and Ibiza is no exception. Being the patron saint of the town of San Juan, the fiesta and celebrations there are taken very seriously, but there are also celebrations in other parts of the island. The night of San Juan (La Noche de San Juan) is usually celebrated with music starting in the evening of the 23rd with bonfires and/or fireworks at midnight to see in the 24th. As it occurs just a few days after the Summer Solstice (the longest day on June 21st), it is also used as a celebration of the start of the summer.
Traditionally, and this still happens in some places, people jump over the bonfires, or run over hot coals, as a way of purifying the body and soul. Traditionally, you should throw into the fire something old that represents something you no longer want in your life or a piece of paper where you are meant to write those things you want to change. It is also customary in Ibiza to eat San Juan macaroni, made with curly noodles cooked in milk, sugar, cinnamon and lemon rind. Other typical cuisine of Ibiza, as orelletes, wine or traditional spirits are also eaten in family homes.
At the time of going to press, details of many of the fiestas on the island had not been released so look out for details (posters, etc.) locally, most of the beaches on the island will have bonfires, but we are certain on some, basing ourselves on what happened last year.
In previous years Figueretes has put on a great show for San Juan on the seafront/beach. A DJ plays music from about 10pm, fireworks at midnight (some of them launched from the Isla de las Ratas across the water from the beach), followed by the lighting of a bonfire on the beach afterwards. Think of November 5th in the UK, except that you can watch the fireworks whilst you’re paddling in the sea and can get close to the bonfire, but you won’t need to keep warm from it!
Talamanca has also had celebrations on the beach in recent years, with buses put on from Ibiza Town to shuttle people there and back. There’s also usually a party outside the Hotel Ses Figueres further along the beach. Look out locally for posters to find out what’s happening.
The town of San Juan started its fiestas a couple of weekends ago because they are celebrating their patron saint. On the night in question, the town will be having Nit de Foc – Nit de Rock (Fire Night – Rock Night) concert. At 9.30pm, the night will open with Indian folk music and Bhangra with Raga & Tala and Jhon Michel, with the Bollywood Ibiza dancers. At 10.30pm, Peter Colours will be on stage until midnight, when the traditional lighting of els nou foguerons (the nine bonfires) takes place. After that the concerts will go on with D Brois, Ho Femme Fatale, Arma Sonora, and closing the concerts, Methead will be on at 3.30am. The town will have fireworks at midnight on Tuesday, their official patron saint day.
San Antonio will be celebrating the night of San Juan at s’Era d’en Manyà. There will be popular games, artisans, competitions, and San Juan macaroons tasting, live concert by the group Rels. The night will finish with the traditional purification listening to rock, jazz and heavy music around a big bonfire.
The town of Jesus has organized a San Juan Macaroon competition starting at 8pm and a Sardinada, so if you fell like having grilled sardines for dinner this is the place to be. After eating there will be traditional ball pagès and an orchestra until midnight, when the bonfires will be lit.
Puig d’en Valls
This little town just outside Ibiza will be having bonfires and live music by the Soumess on the Nit de Sant Joan, as part of their program of patron fiestas.
The neighbours in San José have organized their own little fiesta. They will have some live music, a sangria and sandwich bar, and at midnight bonfires will be lit. There are also bonfires at Es Cubells. Beach
That we know or have heard, there are no other things officially organized around the island, but my experience tells me most the beaches on the island will have people lighting bonfires and celebrating the night of San Juan – personally, I have already started organizing my friends to walk down to Cala Lleña to celebrate, so there might be a little party there too!