ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eve of St John or Noche de San Juan in Tenerife – bonfires and fireworks and San Juanito

Updated on June 27, 2013

St John's Eve and Summer Solstice

St John’s Eve is known in the Spanish-speaking world of Tenerife and the other Canary Islands as Noche de San Juan. It is a very important time for festivities, for bonfires, fireworks and beach parties.

The night of 23 June is one of the biggest fiesta times of the year and in many places it is as big if not bigger than the New Year’s Eve celebrations. It is in keeping too with the Summer Solstice of the Pagan calendar.

It is a Fire Festival that marks the time of the shortest day and the most daylight. There is a very magical and almost surreal feeling to the event as it is celebrated. The festival combines elements of both Pagan and Christian traditions and imagery.

St John's Eve bonfire

Bonfire burning in San Marcos on Noche de San Juan
Bonfire burning in San Marcos on Noche de San Juan | Source

San Juan Bautista or John the Baptist

The saint whose fiesta is in honour and celebration of is the Biblical John the Baptist or San Juan Bautista, as he is called in Spanish. So there is the association with the water of baptism as well as the fires of the festival.

There are several places in Tenerife with the name of this saint in their names, such as San Juan de la Rambla and Playa de San Juan.

The day of the 24 June is traditionally St John’s Day, and the 23 is the Eve.

Dancers on the beach

Disco dancing on the beach on Noche de San Juan in Playa San Marcos
Disco dancing on the beach on Noche de San Juan in Playa San Marcos | Source

St John's Eve poll

Have you ever experienced the Eve of St John celebrations?

See results

Noche de San Juan in San Marcos

Noche de San Juan is prepared for well in advance in Tenerife. People of the villages and towns all around the island make bonfires in readiness for lighting them on the night of St John.

In San Marcos a procession takes place while the bonfire is burning. The fire is lit and then all the people who have assembled, along with a brass band, make their way down the road of the village until they reach the sea front in the bay itself.

Many cars arrive in the normally quiet village and the car parks are filled with vehicles.

Many of those in the procession carry burning torches. The band plays a selection of rousing tunes and there is often singing too by those in the procession. It is a very energetic and colourful and musical event!

Many people join along the way or watch from the sidelines. Balconies of the apartment blocks that border the road have groups of spectators and others line the road down by the beach.

The beach is covered in people, including family groups. Candles are lit and there is usually a disco too with dance music blaring out over the sea. Many people, especially the countless teenagers, go in the water. At midnight it is a tradition for people to go in the sea because it is believed that bathing at such a time is purifying and cleansing.

There is the idea that all of Noche de San Juan is about getting rid of anything bad. In religious terms the fires can be thought to ward away demons and evil spirits. In some places mainly young men will jump three times over smaller fires.

Fireworks are set off, mainly large Catherine wheels, Roman candles and rockets.

In many places the festivities continue throughout the night and the bars and restaurants by the beach do fantastic trade on this night of the year.

By the morning after the island is shrouded in smoke and the smell of burnt wood and ash.

Midsummer Fireworks

A curtain of fire as part of the celebrations for San Juanito
A curtain of fire as part of the celebrations for San Juanito | Source

San Juanito

San Juanito on  his way to the boat
San Juanito on his way to the boat | Source

San Juanito

In San Marcos the 24 June is another day of celebration down in the bay because the statues of San Juanito (Little St John) and the Blessed Virgin are brought out of the chapel by the beach and carried by men in another procession that takes them down to the area where the boats are docked. Here they are taken on board a boat and taken on a cruise around the bay.

Before all this begins there is usually a concert or concerts of live music on a festival stage.

Again a brass band plays as the procession takes San Juanito and the Virgin down to the boats waiting for them.

The bay already has floating lights decorating it and at one point in the ceremonies fireworks are let off with many shooting up over the waters.

The celebrations for San Juan and San Juanito are both some of the most memorable events of the year!

Copyright © 2013 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

NOCHE DE SAN JUAN.Playa Jardin Punta Brava Puerto de la Cruz te

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)