If you're planning on a trip to Madrid during San Juan, you'll find one of the best celebrations with a huge bonfire in the La Latina neighbourhood just outside the church. While not on the beach, like many other San Juan celebrations, it's a great way to enjoy an alternative city based take on this popular event.
San Juan takes place on the shortest night of the year, it's a time to celebrate change, be thankful for what you have and to be aware of the often harsh summer months to come. According to tradition, if you jump over the bonfire three times on the night of San Juan, you will be cleansed and all your problems will be burned away.
On the beach you might even see people running into the sea on the stroke of midnight, again said to wash away evil spirits. Some say that if you wash your hands and face three times at midnight, you'll be granted three wishes and have a happy 12 year to follow. As you can imagine the sight of hundreds and even thousands of people rushing into the water at midnight while the bonfires burn along the beach, is an amazing sight. In Madrid of course, it's done a little differently, there is no sea to run into after all, but it's a fabulous night none the less and well worth seeing if you're in the city at this time of the year.
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