The Dia de San Juan (St John’s Day), on the 23rd June, marks midsummer and is celebrated with bonfires throughout Spain. This event has caused the Lanzarote Security and Emergency Consortium to produce a list of dos and don’ts for those celebrating the event next Wednesday.
All over the island, bonfires will be lit to mark this fiesta, which marks the arrival of the summer holiday season and is often celebrated with impromptu concerts and barbecues on which pork chops, sardines and corncobs are roasted. Many bonfires will burn an effigy called “Facundo”, who symbolises bad luck, and chances are that plenty of Facundos will be wearing facemasks this year.
San Juan is the patron saint of Haría, and this town has a particularly spectacular bonfire, around which a group of local youths perform a thrilling fire dance dressed as fearsome devils. Last year, Don Facundo was officially pardoned by the Mayor of Haría, but it doesn’t look as though he’ll be so lucky this time.
The Emergency and Security Consortium have reminded people that masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed during the celebrations, although the use of inflammable hydro-alcoholic handwashes are not recommended.
Bonfires must be notified to the local Ayuntamiento, permitting emergency services to know exactly where they are and who is responsible. They should take place in areas where there is no risk of fire spreading, at a distance from homes, electrical cables, trees and other elements of risk, and any element at risk should be a distance of six metres for every metre that the bonfire measures in height.
Fireworks, plastics, metals, foam rubber, tyres and other toxic or explosive materials should not be burned, and light materials that may fly away in the wind are also not advised. All bonfires should be fully extinguished once the evening is over.
112 and 080 are the emergency numbers in case of any problems.
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