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FLAME ON Lanzarote Fired Up For San Juan Festivities

Friday June 23, 2017

FLAME ON Lanzarote Fired Up For San Juan Festivities

The annual fiery fiesta of San Juan flares up across the island tonight, fanning various festivities across Lanzarote.

San Juan is a essentially a Christian festival honouring St John the Baptist, but with pagan roots - as it also marks the summer solstice. And it´s celebrated in many countries around the world - often by lighting bonfires, a tradition once designed to aid the sun's rays as the days start to become shorter after June 23rd.

Noche de San Juan has always been well observed here on Lanzarote and in the not so distant past was deemed sufficiently important to warrant a day off work, as families and friends would work together to prepare large bonfires and festive food for the resulting BBQ.

Smaller fires will be lit tonight in many towns and villages around the island whilst larger scale celebrations are also planned in Puerto del Carmen - where tourists can join the locals and enjoy live music and food in Calle Bajamar, close to Playa Chica, from 21.00.

Similar communal celebrations will also be taking place in Playa Blanca on the central town beach from 21.00, with the release of illuminated paper lanterns and live music. As well as in the capital, Arrecife in the area around the Isla de Frances close to El Charco, where the action will be getting underway there from 20.30.

Haria in the north of the island is always one of the the hottest spots for celebrations too, as San Juan is the patron saint of the village and in years gone by huge beacons would be lit on the surrounding hilltops.

The Fiesta de San Juan is also traditionally marked by families taking their first ófficial´dip of the year together in the sea - so don´t forget to take your trunks along!  A ritual which is thought to have its roots in Lanzarote´s pre-aboriginal peoples preference for conducting fire and water rites to mark the solstice on local beaches in the centuries prior to the Spanish conquest of the island.

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