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Mallorca Fiesta: San Juan

The nativity of John the Baptist

All over Spain this week people are getting ready to welcome in the summer and celebrate the birth of St John the Baptist (San Juan in Spanish and Sant Joan in Catalan) by preparing bonfires and stocking up on super loud fireworks. Almost everybody heads down to the beaches and other public spaces on the night of the 23rd June – the eve of the Saint's day itself – for an enormous shindig around midnight.

It's the same all over Mallorca where you'll find bonfires and enormous crowds on the beaches who celebrate a 'cleansing by fire' of the old year and welcome in the summer with a great deal of music, the odd drink or two, and much merriment.

Obviously, the capital and biggest area of population, Palma has the biggest fiesta of them all, and it takes place once again in the big open space in front of the Gothic cathedral, the Parque del Mar. The council, along with the neighbourhood associations have arranged for a massive fire and fireworks 'display' from their satanic majesties, the groups of demons who frequent these occasions.

demon at san juan

There'll be no less than six demonic squads belching flames, smoke and sparks, so around 400 of them along with a couple of winged dragons to scare the life out of you and noise provided by drummers and firecrackers. Sounds good, but wear loose, cotton clothes which cover most of your body if you're going along to enjoy the fun!

The evening starts at 19:00 when there are activities for kids, and the demons enter the fray at 23:00 when over 90 minutes they'll unleash hell in the form of thousands of crackers and kilos and kilos of gunpowder! Ambient music – not sure what that my be – follows the show!

See you on Thursday?