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San Juan

San Juan

The eve of San Juan, June the 23rd, is the shortest and most magical night of the year. In La Vila Joiosa it is a day of traditions, especially for the youngest ones of the family, with the sea and the beach as a backdrop.

In the early afternoon the beaches, especially the Playa Centro, are filled up with groups of friends and families taking up positions to spend the most crowded evening on the coast of La Villa . Some people set up tables, chairs, the cool box... while others come along with just a towel or beach mat... but no one forgets to bring up something delicious to enjoy the outdoor dinner. Pebrereta, rabbit with tomato, potato omelettes, sandwiches, punxaetes (potatoes with liver), meat in sauce... a long list of tapas and gastronomic proposals that the best bars in the country would be glad to offer.

While waiting for dinner time to come , there are plenty of activities for the children. There are communal games and workshops to keep this day’s traditions alive, such as "els fanalets", where children transform watermelons into fun and artistic lanterns. Although some neighbours bring them from home already made, to keep this custom alive, the town council prepares a workshop every year to make these typical "fanalets" which are then displayed in the "Ronda de fanalets" all around the streets of the Old Town.

Also in the evening, until a few years ago, neighbours used to throw a floral wreath into the sea in memory of those who went out to sea and never returned.

When the traditional activities are over, people gather in small groups to enjoy dinner waiting for midnight to set onto the shore, jump seven waves and make a wish.

A short night, yes, but full of magical rituals.