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Nit de foc

Bonfires of St John

san juan nit de foc

Christianity and paganism collide in Spain next week as all over the country (and particularly its beaches) bonfires are lit to celebrate the eve of St John's day. Known locally in Catalan as the 'Nit de Foc' the big bash takes place on 23rd June, the night before San Juan's day.

There are a few theories about this date as depending on which calendar you use it's 6 months before Christmas, and also the summer solstice, which pagans celebrated with cleansing fire as the old year departed.

It's generally accepted that the church superimposed the San Juan celebration on the pagan solstice and the mish mash of the two religions is what we're left with today.

As I said, celebrations take place everywhere and here in Mallorca it's no different but of course Palma holds the biggest flaming whopper of a shindig on the night.

So, if you want to see lots of flames, fires, belching sparks and people jumping over bonfires get along to the Parque del Mar recreation area in front of the cathedral.

Now luckily for the many associations of fire breathing demons in Mallorca, tradition has it that witches and demons are allowed to roam the earth on the eve of San Juan, and hey presto 10 gangs of terrifying, fire-toting demons and dragons will be running amok through the crowds.

The adult action kicks off at 21:00 with local folk music followed by the fiery fun at 22:30. If you go, make sure you're well covered in loose cotton clothing and keep well away from the flames and sparks!

Have a great nit de foc!