Spring tide and San Juan (an important request from the Environment department)
This Friday23-Saturday24 both La Herradura and Almuñécar celebrate San Juan, also known as Noche de San Juan in memory of the birth of John the Baptist as well as the Summer Solstice and it symbolises change. In tourist regions it also marks the start of the summer holiday season. In seaside towns and villages it is the only night during the year when people can officially light fires anhave barbecues on the beach. Groups of friends and families gather and set up their tents on the beach during the day and at night the barbecues and bonfires are lit.
But what has this happy event to do with the environment you might wonder? Well, people who celebrate on the beach might not be aware that the litter they leave there will be washed up by the sea around 4.30 when the spring tide is taking place. Last year the municipal cleaning personnel cleared 190 tons of trash fron the beaches. But they start cleaning hours after the spring tide which means that all this trash of paper, bottles, tins and plastic could end up in the sea. Can you imagine this?
So please, if you are going to celebrate San Juan on one of the beaches do collect and take your litter with you and please spread this information!
The symbolism of a magical night.
The fires are used to symbolically burn old memories and mark a new start. According to tradition, people have to jump a bonfire three times in order to be cleansed and purified and for their problems to be burned away. Some people write a wish on a small piece of paper which they then throw into the fire. It is then customary, at midnight, for people to either jump into the sea or wash their faces in the sea water, which is believed to create luck and to help see the future with more clarity. Food and drinks are shared, guitar music is never far away and the celebrations continue into the early morning hours. It can be a truly magical experience.
Enjoy your ‘Noche de San Juan’ and do take your litter home or dispose of it in the appropriate containers.