Let waves hit your feet and the sand be your seat. - Unknown
Dipping into the sea at midnight to make a wish, whilst barbecuing and boogieing into the night – this is the ultimate beach party! Due to COVID-19, this year's event will not happen again.
What is Sant Joan? #
Sant Joan is one of the most celebrated festivals on Mallorca, with the largest celebrations taking place within the city of Palma. Celebrated on the 23rd of June in honour of John the Baptist, it is one of the most rambunctious sights you are likely to see here on the island. This always takes place around the Summer Solstice so this holiday has something for everyone. This year may be a quieter affair or might be a full-on blow out since everyone has been quarantined. We'll let you know more closer to the event.
A combination of dancing devils and soaring fireworks, it’s hard to believe that they are celebrating the life of a prophet who lived a very simple life. As masked figures fly around the front of the Cathedral, cascading embers into the frantic crowds, it can seem a little terrifying! However, this really is one of the most thrilling fiestas to be part of.
Where To Celebrate #
The largest celebration takes place in the city of Palma, with the main celebrations are held in front of the Parc de la Mar. Hundreds of people gather here to witness the chaotic carry-on of the correfoc, which usually subsides by around 11pm, and a slightly calmer side to the tradition emerges.
After the procession, slightly charred onlookers (the embers really do fly, I’d advise you take shelter during the procession!) head to the surrounding bays and coves to bathe in the sea, and make a wish. It’s thought that bathing in the sea after midnight washes away impurities within the soul, cleansing you, and preparing you for life’s next adventure.
In other areas of the island, festivities are a little calmer and more family friendly and simply involve families and friends heading to the beach to share a picnic or BBQ, take a dip in the sea and enjoy the warm summer air. Music plays, friendships are formed and summer is embraced across the island. It really is a wonderful feeling.
Most other villages have celebrations so if you see streamers in the town square now, this is why. The noise from fireworks can be deafening and also disturb the peace of a village. In Andratx - Life in an Ancient Southwest Village, the place gets downright raucous. Take cover and wear earplugs.
How To Celebrate #
For most people a simple picnic and a few bottles of their favourite tipple will suffice, but for some, an entire feast is brought onto the beach and festivities continue into the early hours!
Each area of the island celebrates slightly differently and in towns where Sant Joan has an even stronger presence; festivities can last for up to two weeks! Deia and Son Servera have a jam-packed events program that includes music and dance displays, as well as mass; and celebrations run from mid-June until the 1st of July.
Although certain elements of tradition are lost in the hubbub and chaos or partying, it is believed that bathing on your back whilst holding a candle is the best way to cleanse yourself of impurities and prepare for the upcoming year. For some people it is more about the madness of the devils on the stage, and embracing the rhythm of the band- there’s no real rules to celebrating San Joan, just to drink up the atmosphere around you!
Rules and Regulations of Beach Partying! #
It must be noted that whilst beach partying is wonderful, we must consider the environment and local governments, and organisers of large beach parties (Connect Lingus Palma are a prime example) do request that you are mindful of rubbish and collect all your belongings before leaving the beach. Although celebrated island wide, noise does carry, so be mindful of the neighbours as you party the night away!
Happy Sant Joan! #
No matter where you are on the island, you can be sure to enjoy the celebrations in whichever way you choose! I shall be on the beach with a picnic, bottle of white wine and great company- hope to see you there!
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By Zoé Holmes
19 June, 2022