Welcome to the celebration of San Juan, where we set stuff on fire and party on the beach.

It wasn’t quite what we had in mind for a Saints day, but it’s the biggest party of the year in A Coruna, and who are we to argue?

To listen, hit play below or find episode 240 in iTunes or Soundcloud:

We’d never heard of the San Juan festival until we arrived in A Coruna, where it’s the biggest event of the year — and then we got to experience it first-hand. It has roots in pagan solstice celebrations and summer cleansing rituals, and is celebrated all over Spain.

In Alicante the modern celebration started in the 1920s and involves burning intricate structures created by local artists. In A Coruna, just one of these structures is burned, representing the major events that have happened in the city during the previous year.

The San Juan celebration sees hundreds of bonfires along the beach of A Coruna.
The San Juan celebration sees hundreds of bonfires along the beach of A Coruna.

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