Lots of music, barbecues and above all a desire to party. The Costa de Granada has recovered the joy, magic and fire so characteristic of one of the most anticipated nights of the year by hundreds of people to kick off the summer season: the San Juans night. A festivity that has been celebrated at half throttle by neighbors and foreigners who from early afternoon began to gather on the different shores of the Granada coast to secure a place on the beach to enjoy with family and/or friends, and fulfill the tradition of washing your face with sea water or taking a good bath after midnight.
A night where big and small have gathered around the large bonfires set up by the different town halls or they have enjoyed the different musical concerts, but without a doubt what has been repeated most among the many attendees is the desire that has been had for too long to celebrate big events normally again. Little has mattered that private bonfires were not allowed As in pre-pandemic years on beaches such as Motril, Almuñécar or Torrenueva Costa, the ingenuity and trickery of some was enough to solve this setback.
And it is that the night of San Juan this year has been lived in a special way on the coast of Granada that, after two years without being able to celebrate this festivity, first with the closure of the riverbanks and with the surrogate celebration of last year, has been able to enjoy a start to summer in style with the trails of fire lighting up the beaches and the fusion of the music from the stages set up for the occasion, althoughn some cases the “fresh” of these days has wreaked havoc, since not all the expectations set have been met.
Pepa, Carlos, Carmen, Jesús, Trini and Juan Carlos are three married couples from Granada and Jaén with a second home on Motril beach, who have decided to get together to “stay chattering for a while” on the shore of the beach, eat a bit of the potato omelette or salad that Carmen has prepared in the morning, drink a few beers and wash your face, “is what tradition dictates”. These residents of the Coast assure that they have taken advantage of the whole day on the beach to catch up, they only see each other from summer to summer when they move their residence to the Coast in search of more bearable temperatures. “There is no way of convincing them to throw us some dances afterward in what they have set up with music”, Carmen jokes, while Trini and Pepa laugh at their friend’s face and Jesús adds that there will be summer ahead to go dancing.
Not far from there, Pedro and his friends finish preparing a barbecue. Some have left work at ten o’clock at night, and while they have reached the beach and have assembled all their gear, dinner is almost combined with bath time. “We are making some chops on the barbecue and if we see that it strikes 12, we first take a bath and then eat, there is a long night ahead”.
The stamp is repeated in practically all the beaches of the Granada coast. In Salobreña, groups of friends gather around small private moragas, the bulk of the public concentrates to see the lighting of the municipal bonfire. But before all that, many people have gathered at La Charca Beach to enjoy the DJ party or the children’s parade that has run through some of the main streets of the Villa. Salobreña is currently celebrating one of its patron saint festivities and offers an extensive calendar of events and festivities around the day of San Juan.
Laura and Marina, two friends from the Villa, point out that they have arranged to have something to eat and go to the beach, “there are very good atmosphere now with the concerts, but later we met with the rest of our friends to go to the fair, they didn’t want to come to the beach because of how cool it is, and we couldn’t not come”.
And in Almuñécar the neighbors enjoy the festivity under their ‘chambaos’, while they take refuge from the drizzle and eat, among other delicacies, some San Juan buns. “We bring it more out of tradition than anything else, because we already come with enough food in the fridge, but the oil bun and the hard-boiled egg always go well with the beer,” explains Fran, a resident of Velilla.
Although tradition dictates wash your face or take a bath after twelve o’clock at night, there have been many who, either for spirits or for fun, who have not been able to wait until midnight, or have simply bathed on several occasions.
A night full of magic that has been colored by the red of firethe smell of saltpeter on the skin of the brave who have chosen to take a bath, despite the cool of the night, and a multitude of laughs and smiles with the flavor of new beginnings.