San Juan: Sparklers, Fireworks and Bonfires

On Monday 23rd June 2014, Kasia and I attended an amazing beach party. If I hadn’t have seen the posters before hand or the dutiful bonfire on the beach, I’d have thought we were amongst a war zone!

It all started last week. Kasia was visiting a friend in Seville and my German friend Rico was visiting me in our temporary Spanish home. We spotted a large area of the beach fenced off and surrounding a large pile of wood in the middle. Possibly a bonfire, but it definitely wasn’t November 5th – it was way too hot. Plus something similar to Marge Simpson was on top of the pile. We carried on with our drinking and sunbathing.

Then one evening we spotted a poster. Along with my social media networks assistance, we obtained it was indeed a bonfire and for the San Juan celebrations. With my minimal Spanish and Google I found out that a procession would pass our beach on the Monday night around 9.30pm.


Upon Kasias return at the weekend,  we walked towards the beach like excited kids. Massive crowds greeted us. I Spanglished my way to a good viewing point. The beach below was full of people, young and old. They were chasing each other with fireworks and sparklers. A health and safety nightmare back home. Here it seemed very safe, somehow.

After a while a drum beat sounded closer. A procession of masked people slinging huge sparklers above their heads marched onto the beach. Soon after a boat rowed onto shore with more masked people. The sparklers, crackers and marching continued until the bonfire was lit. Marge died instantly and the fireworks began with gusto!

Soon after lanterns were lit and flew narrowly over the bonfire that was piled high with firewood and old wooden furniture. Fireworks shot past the lanterns and the crowds gasped with amazement. As the crowds disappeared, the fireworks carried on until 3am.

A further reminder of why I love Spain, new cultures and travel.

You can read more about San Joan festival celebrations here.

Hasta Pronto chicos (see you soon guys)


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