How To Celebrate San Juan in Spain

What’s a festival in Spain without fire?…

Just another day


Three years ago I celebrated my first San Juan in La Coruña, a beach town on the northern coast of Spain.  Every year people build large bonfires all along the beach and party. 

Best part about San Juan: Being able to drunkenly jump over fires on a beach because there’s no such thing as a lawsuit in Spain, just common sense. Apparently, if you jump over the fire three times without burning yourself you’re purified.  Some say you’re granted a wish or as we like to call it in Spain, a job.

Worst part about San Juan: The sea turns into a giant public toilet for men and for women.  My first year at San Juan, I found myself in a predicament   I had to break the seal. I tried to hold it as long as I could but eventually, I gave in and pee’d along side hundreds of people. As I squatted a guy tried to pick me up, “Hola guapa!”  Yup, still got it, even when I pee. (#mymess)

Here’s what celebrating San Juan entails:

Eating grilled sardines or barbecue, or in my case BOTH



Somehow Galicians always manage to incorporate witches into their catholic holidays

Children painting a witch

Bonfires lots and lots of bonfires…


Made from anything and everything flammable and unwanted. Goodbye class notes!

All those yellow dots are fires.

All those yellow dots are fires.

Jumping over the fire…




Although from an American perspective San Juan appears extremely dangerous, usually only a few people are injured each year.  Honestly, considering the fire, open sea, and alcohol, that’s not that bad.  So either the Spanish have more common sense or they’ve mastered the delicate art of bonfire debauchery.  I’m thinking both.

What do you think? Tweet me.

Do you have the travelling bug? Check out Oh The Places We’ll Go on Pinterest


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