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Night of San Juan in Malaga

Night of San Juan in Malaga

The night of San Juan in Malaga celebrates the summer solstice. The longest day and shortest night of the year come with fun traditions, delicious food and with the Mediterranean playing centre stage.

Read on to discover how to celebrate San Juan in Malaga, where to go and what you should be doing to ensure a happy and beautiful year ahead.

When is the night of San Juan in Malaga?

Although summer officially starts on 21 June, the night of San Juan falls on 23 June, a Monday in 2025. Expect all-night celebrations on the beaches in Malaga.

What does it celebrate?

The feast of St John (Juan) provides the religious element but this event is all about the summer solstice. The shortest night of the year traditionally celebrates the arrival of summer.

What happens on the night of San Juan in Malaga?

Malaga celebrates San Juan with fire and music.


Giant bonfires are lit on all beaches with the main focuses on La Malagueta and La Misericordia, the city’s two largest beaches.


Figures made of wood, cloth and papier-mache, representing politicians, celebrities or topics from current affairs are burnt at midnight on the largest bonfires.

The theme for 2025 has yet to be confirmed.

jua 2024 noche de san juan malaga

The picture above shows the theme for 2024, which was the soaring price of olive oil, more expensive than whiskey in some cases. The sculpture measures 5 by 5 metres and shows two olive oil cans, crowned by the Parthenon and a giant euro sign. It symbolises how olive oil has become a luxury item over the last two years.

The júa is burnt at midnight together with firecrackers on the beach near Glorieta 1 de mayo on La Misericordia seafront promenade (opposite the Diputación building towards the west end of promenade – follow the crowds!).

Live music

A band will be playing from 10pm until 1.30am on the Glorieta 1 de mayo.


Set off just after midnight at the west end of La Misericordia beach once the júa has burnt. The firework show lasts for 14 minutes and consists of five phases.

The fireworks will be visible from most other Malaga beaches – those in El Palo and Pedregalejo where Malaga Bay curves round will have the best views.

What should you eat on the night of San Juan?

Beach picnics obviously but make your San Juan in Malaga extra special with some grilled sardines (at their best at the moment) washed down with a glass of cool beer or chilled wine at one of the beach restaurants.

typical food in Malaga

Also available on the barbecue are fresh squid, octopus, prawns and just about any whole fish.

What are typical San Juan traditions?

Most traditions involve water, fire and wishes, and all of them focus on the year ahead.

Swim at midnight – take a dip in the Mediterranean to cleanse yourself of all the bad vibes and ensure happiness for the next 12 months. Purists enter the water walking backwards.

Beauty treatment – splash your hands and face with seawater at midnight for guaranteed beauty. But don’t look in a mirror to see the effects until well into the next day otherwise all that effort will be wasted 😉

Make a wish – write it on a piece of paper and throw it on one of the bonfires at midnight.

The night of San Juan is just 1 of the many annual events in Malaga. We cover most of them in our guide – take a look via the link below.

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