Another baptism by fire / Otro bautismo de fuego

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

This is what St. John’ Eve, 23 and 24 of June, looked like across the street this year. There used to be live music, a huge outdoor bar set up on the beach, plus the one on the Paseo alongside the chiringuito. There were searchlights planted on the beach to rotate through the sky (and onto the buildings on the beach, ours included). The loud, pounding music and light show and drinking lasted until 3 in the morning. Officially. Try and sleep through that. There were bonfires on the beach (although illegal) because the tradition at midnight is to jump the fire (some say three times) as a purification ritual and to ward off evil spirits. Also at midnight, everyone runs into the sea (forwards or backwards depending on who you ask). Most run into the sea before jumping over the fire, but I don’t know if there are rules. If this all sounds kind of pagan, it’s because it of course is.

There were so many complaints from residents, that there’s no more blasted music. No swirling lights. No huge fires. And no one sleeping all night on the beach (that wasn’t legally permitted in the past, but many people did it anyway). For us, it was a much more pleasant event that culminated in the usual fireworks display at 12:15. I was on the beach at midnight and didn’t see anyone jump over a fire. The last time I saw that was in 2019 (click here). And we all know how well the evil spirits (which I assume include viruses) were warded off after that.


Así se veía la Noche de San Juan, el 23 y 24 de junio, al otro lado de la calle este año. Antes había música en directo, un enorme bar al aire libre instalado en la playa, más uno en el Paseo junto al chiringuito. Había reflectores plantados en la playa para rotar a través del cielo (y hacia los edificios en la playa, incluido el nuestro). La música a todo volumen, el espectáculo de luces y la bebida duraron hasta las 3. Oficialmente. Trate de dormir a través de eso. Había fogatas en la playa (aunque ilegales) porque la tradición a medianoche es saltar el fuego (algunos dicen que tres veces) como ritual de purificación y para alejar los malos espíritus. También a medianoche, todos corren hacia el mar (hacia adelante o hacia atrás, según a quién le preguntes). La mayoría corre al mar antes de saltar sobre el fuego, pero no sé si hay reglas. Si todo esto suena un poco pagano, es porque, por supuesto, lo es.

Hubo tantas quejas de los vecinos, que ya no hay música maldita. Sin luces giratorias. Sin grandes incendios. Y nadie durmiendo toda la noche en la playa (eso no estaba legalmente permitido en el pasado, pero mucha gente lo hacía de todos modos). Para nosotros fue un evento mucho más agradable que culminó con el habitual castillo de fuegos artificiales a las 12:15. Estaba en la playa a medianoche y no vi a nadie saltar sobre el fuego. La última vez que vi eso fue en 2019 (haz clic aquí). Y todos sabemos lo bien que fueron las cosas después de eso. Y todos sabemos lo bien que los espíritus malignos (que supongo que incluyen virus) fueron rechazados después de eso.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge.
Haz clic en las miniaturas para ampliar.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

20 thoughts on “Another baptism by fire / Otro bautismo de fuego”

    1. David,
      The cats did ok. They’re not great fans of fireworks, but only the very loud ones get a look from them. Often they’ll watch from the terrace… or sleep with the display in the background.

    1. Bob,
      I have no complaints about this year’s celebration. Friendly, happy, lots of fun.

  1. As much as I envy your being by the ocean, I don’t think I’d like the huge crowds and revelry. Hope you can ward off the evil spirits without a trial by fire.

  2. Jumping a fire sounds a bit risky to me. Not to mention ineffective, as you pointed out!

    So basically it’s all an excuse to hang out with friends on the beach and drink. People are the same all over the world! (Well, maybe not in Saudi Arabia.)

    1. Steve,
      It seemed so much more civilized this year without the blasting music and lights.

  3. Party-poopers! As long as it’s not all the time, why complain about a festival? It’s like thesort of people who move into a new flat in somewhere like London’s Soho or Manchester’s Gay Village and then complain because there are people drinking and making a noise…

    Anyhoo, it looks like fun, even if jumping into flames wasn’t on the menu this year – at least the fireworks and bonfires survive! Jx

    1. Jon,
      Because the holiday is not a fixed day of the week and people living there have to get up for work in the morning. Also, the bands and amps on the beach were a new development, so it wasn’t as if people were complaining about an ancient tradition.

  4. This saint is also celebrated quite extensively in the province of Quebec here in Canada……..a major holiday there.

    1. Kelly,
      They do good shows here. They line the T-shaped jetty with fireworks. So, at times, you watch them fly in series. And the fact that we have such a great view for the terrace!

  5. There’s nothing like in the summertime a good beach party with a bonfire. I remember we used to do it on Fire Island a couple of Summers I visited. As long as it’s once or twice in the summer I don’t see an issue with it, but if it was every night that would be a different story. But I love that feeling of being on the beach tonight with a nice fire some music some drinks. It’s always a good time and the pictures are lovely. Now in P town we’ve been on the beach late but I only like five or six of us and very quietly.

    1. Walt the Fourth,
      That would be difficult to tolerate. Good they don’t do it often.

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