Summer celebrations on the beach

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Holidaymakers to Tenerife should mark June 23rd on the calendar and make sure they don’t miss the chance to join islanders in one of the most important and spectacular celebrations of the year.

Thousands will head to the beaches to celebrate the arrival of summer during the Noche de San Juan – the Night of St John. It’s a tradition that goes back to the days of the Guanche, the original inhabitants of Tenerife, and everyone is welcome.

Young and old spend all night on the beach warmed by the blaze of bonfires, enjoying spectacular firework displays, and eating, drinking and dancing. At midnight be ready to join the locals as they run into the sea to purify their bodies and souls.

The Guanche also believed that this was the time to purify their animals to ensure good health and breeding and at dawn goat herders and horsemen would bring their animals to Puerto de la Cruz and bathe them in the sea. That old tradition is still followed today, and the air is filled with the sound of indignant neighing and bleating.

So pack up a picnic, head to the beach and join in the fun.

Image by Rafael Tovar