MALAGA has cancelled its San Juan celebrations.
The traditional Noche de San Juan, celebrated on the night of June 23 and which sees roaring bonfires and barbecues, will not take place this year.
The Mayor of Malaga has told citizens not to go to the beach to celebrate summer solstice, a magical night in much of the northern hemisphere.
It’s common to see people jumping in the sea at midnight, a ritual believed to wash away evil spirits, or jumping over fires which, according to legend, cleanse the body and the soul.
This year, however, COVID-19 has seen all municipalities in Malaga and many across Spain suspend the traditional activities.
There will be no burning of ‘juas,’ the huge figures made out of cloth which are filled with sawdust, paper, and any other combustible material, while bonfires, parties and fireworks are banned too.
The town halls across the Costa del Sol have already warned that all the traditional acts of San Juan are suspended.
Policia Local will reinforce the surveillance of Malaga’s beaches from Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning to ensure the recommendations of the health authorities are met.
In Torremolinos, municipal sources have said that the use of the beaches will not be authorised that night.
The City Councils of Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella, Estepona and Manilva have prohibited bonfires and juas, as well as any attempt to celebrate the traditional rituals, with additional police patrols promised.
The east coast of the Costa del Sol will also see all bonfires, barbecues, and traditional ‘verbenas’ cancelled, including on the beaches of Rincon de la Victoria, Velez-Malaga, Algarrobo, Torrox and Nerja.
Midsummer Eve traditionally sees thousands of Malaga residents flock to the beaches to celebrate the arrival of summer.
Although the night of San Juan is magical for a large majority of Malaga’s citizens, the councils insist on the importance of complying with prevention measures to contain COVID-19.
The virus has not yet disappeared and has already taken the lives of over 28,000 in Spain.