This is a festival dedicated to San Juan or Saint John. “Hogueras de San Juan” means “bonfires of Saint John” and is known for lighting the bonfires on the shortest night of the summer, June 23-24, in towns around Spain, especially in the regions of Valencia and Catalonia and on the Balearic Islands (i.e., Ibiza). Bonfires are being prepared days before the festival and are lit in the city centre and on the beaches.
Besides the bonfires, there are beach and streets parties followed by fireworks. There are likewise some customs for purifying yourself during this celebration. There is a belief that, if one jumps three times over a bonfire on Saint John’s night, he will be cleansed and all his problems will go away.
Some other traditions of purifying on this day include splashing in the water and, for women, bathing in perfumed water. Another interesting belief is putting three potatoes under your pillow; one peeled, one half peeled and one unpeeled. In the morning, you have to blindly pick one potato, and it will tell you how your year is going to be. The peeled one means problems with money, half peeled means that your year will be full of ups and downs and the unpeeled one brings you health and happiness. After trying out all these traditions, you can join the celebrations, dance and party the whole night.
The largest celebration takes place in Alicante where it lasts for a few days with parades and fireworks.