Galicia’s Most Amazing Festivals

Festas de San Xoán

San Xoán, San Juan or Sant Joan, as it’s called in various regions of Spain, takes place all over the country on the night of June 23rd. It honours the birth of St John the Baptist with fireworks and bonfires, but nowhere celebrates it quite like Galicia. When the clock strikes midnight, Galicians head to the beaches to light bonfires and prepare queimada, a drink made from Aguadiente liquor, sugar, coffee beans, lemon peel and cinnamon sticks, which is set on fire. An incantation is said over the concoction, said to keep witches away, and people jump over the bonfires to bring good luck. Swimming in the sea at midnight also brings luck on this night.