El Dia de San Juan (St John’s Day) falls on the 24th June, and is a local holiday in Haría, Teguise and Tinajo. But it’s the evening before when all the action take place.
The Christian feast day ties in with older pagan celebrations of the midsummer solstice, and in Spain it’s the closest thing you’ll find to Bonfire Night.
Bonfire preparations often begin weeks in advance, as pallets and pieces of waste wood are collected. On the night of the 23rd, the bonfire is lit, and families and friends gather for a barbecue.
In many places, younger people will jump across the flames of the barbecue for luck. Many also swim on San Juan’s day itself – both rituals are about purification.
The most spectacular San Juan celebration on Lanzarote takes place in Haría, where Los Diablos in terrifying costumes, descend from palm trees and buildings before performing a Fire Dance and burning an effigy called Don Facundo on the fire. Don Facundo was officially pardoned by the Mayor for the last two years because of Covid, but this year he’s almost certainly in for a roasting.
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