Click and we willl call you back

Celebrating the Sant Joan Festival in Mallorca: A Guide to the Island's Biggest Summer Party

 Sant Joan in Majorca

Sant Joan in Majorca, photo by Enric Borràs flickr.com/photos/enricb

The Sant Joan Festival or Noche de San Juan (in Spanish), is one of the year's most significant events in Mallorca, Spain. It's a time when locals and tourists come together to celebrate the summer solstice with music, dancing, and fireworks. If you plan to visit Mallorca during this time, here's what you need to know to make the most of the festival. 

Our Mallorca specialist, Dmitri Debru, has written a detailed article for you that covers the history and traditions of the Sant Joan holiday, as well as the best places to celebrate it in Mallorca. With recommendations from locals, you'll learn which beaches are the best to visit, how to properly prepare for the festivities, and which traditional dishes to try. As a bonus, you'll also find a list of the top restaurants to visit in Mallorca during the Sant Joan holiday. Enjoy!

Context

Historical Significance and Local Traditions

Central Tenets of the Sant Joan Holiday

What to Expect During Sant Joan Festival

What is the Sant Joan Festival

When and where does it take place

Best Beaches to celebrate Noche de San Juan in Mallorca

What are the main events of San Joan Fest?

Tips for enjoying the festival

Top-10 best restaurants in Mallorca

Coca de Sant Joan

Ingredients

Method of Preparation

Wrapping it up

Historical Significance and Local Traditions

The feast of Sant Joan originated from paganism and later became a part of Catholicism many years ago. It is full of symbolism, and its importance for Spaniards cannot be overstated. It is worth noting that the traditions, celebrations, and even the local meaning of Sant Joan night in Mallorca differ from mainland Spain, Menorca and Ibiza.

In Majorca, a dialect of the Catalan language is spoken, therefore the traditional Spanish name of Fiesta de San Juan (or Noche de San Juan) here is Nit de San Joan. San Juan is one of the most popular holidays in Spain, alongside Christmas and Easter.

The celebration of Sant Joan on the beach in Mallorca

The celebration of Sant Joan on the beach is a truly unique experience, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate the arrival of summer and the joy of being alive

Central Tenets of the Sant Joan Holiday

The summer sun stands - the longest day of the year and the shortest night.

The triumph of light over darkness - the religious significance of the holiday.

Celebration and partying - The night of Sant Joan in Mallorca is full of colorful carnivals, street festivals, fairs, and parties until the break of dawn.

Summer season - The night of Sant Joan in Mallorca marks the start of the peak tourist season, which lasts until 22nd September. This is the hottest period of the year.

Tourist season - The importance of this event cannot be overstated, as it is a time when Mallorca enjoys much revenue from tourism. For example, in the year 2022, Mallorca tourists spent a total of 17.316,4 million euros.

The romantic element of the holiday - Sant Joan night is the most romantic time of the year in Mallorca. Proposals are often made on the beaches of Mallorca on this night.

What to Expect During Sant Joan Festival

If you're lucky enough to be in Mallorca during Sant Joan, you're in for a treat. This is an excellent opportunity for tourists who want to immerse themselves in Mallorca's authentic culture and become a part of the local community. You'll find bonfires on the beaches, processions, dressed-up monsters, street fairs and much more to immerse yourself in an atmosphere of total joie de vivre.

In conclusion, the Sant Joan Festival is a must-see event in Mallorca, Spain. It's a time when you can experience the island's rich history, culture and traditions while enjoying a lively and festive atmosphere. Make sure you plan your trip to Mallorca during this time to have a memorable experience.

What is the Sant Joan Festival 

Nit del Foc in Majorca
The fire at the Nit de Foc (night of fire) festival symbolises the burning of bad in the world (photo by Enric Borràs flickr.com/photos/enricb/)

The Sant Joan Festival, originally rooted in pagan traditions, has evolved into one of the prominent Catholic summer festivals. The festival honors the victory of light over darkness, symbolized by the summer solstice, which occurs on the shortest night of the year. The festival takes place in Mallorca on June 23rd to 24th, during the night with the least hours of darkness and the most sunlight. This night is also referred to as 'Night of Fire' or Nit del Foc in Catalan, as large groups gather around bonfires on the beaches to bid farewell to the sun with great enthusiasm.

This stems from the day of the celebration itself.  The festival takes place in Mallorca on June 23rd to 24th, during the night with the least hours of darkness and the most sunlight. On this date, the night will be the shortest of the year. This means there will be the most hours of sunshine of the year. Hence, the Catholic Church gives meaning to the celebration - the Solemn Rise of Light over Darkness.

When darkness falls, Mallorca's beaches never stop lighting up. The locals also call the night of Sant Joan 'Nit del Foc', which means 'Night of Fire' in Catalan. People gather in large groups around the fire at sunset and see off the sun to great applause. 

Dressed-up mermen are running around the streets dressed as demons. The costumes are so natural that they look authentic in the semi-darkness. Everyone in Mallorca dresses up as demons. So, you will see not only adults, but also small and noisy ones.

On the night of Sant Joan, couples in love venture go into the forest to search for the elusive mandrake root. Legend has it that whoever discovers the mystical root on that night will be shielded from malevolent forces and blessed with magical sight, enabling them to ward off perils and uncover the world's mysteries. Along with this arduous task, the couples also gather around a bonfire on the beach, relishing each other's company. 

When and where does it take place 

Correfoc de Sant Joan in the Parc de la Mar
Moments from the Correfoc de Sant Joan in the Parc de la Mar, Palma de Mallorca (photo by José Juan 'Potti' Luna flickr.com/photos/pottipotti/)

Sant Joan in Mallorca is accompanied by the echoing sounds of drums, firecrackers, fireworks, and demons until nightfall. As midnight approaches, the excitement peaks and then suddenly dissipates. The drums fall silent, the fireworks cease, and the monsters vanish into thin air.

After the disappearance of the demons, the festival-goers head to the nearby beaches, where massive bonfires await them, surrounded by crowds of people. Finding a vacant spot on the beach during this night can be challenging in Mallorca. Majorcan families of up to 30 to 40 people flock to the beaches, making it essential to reserve a spot well ahead of time if you plan to spend your Sant Joan night on the beach. It is advisable to bring all your picnic essentials, including candles and blankets.

Another customary practice during the Sant Joan night celebrations is writing a note and releasing it into the sea. The message should contain the fears you wish to eliminate this year. It is believed that this act will eradicate anxiety forever.

Best Beaches to celebrate Noche de San Juan in Mallorca

Sant Joan in Paguera
Sant Joan in Paguera, photo by Jason Gehring flickr.com/photos/jasongehring/

Mallorca has over 360 beaches. They are located all along the coastline around the island. A logical question that arises for tourists:  — which is the best beach to go to in Sant Joan, Mallorca? 

Here are the best beaches where you're sure to get a taste of the Sant Joan party atmosphere in Mallorca:

Southwest Mallorca:

  • Playa de Palmanova 

  • Playa de Santa Ponsa

  • Playa de Paguera

  • Playa de Magaluf

  • Playa Port Adriano

South Mallorca:

  • Playa de Palma

  • Es Trenc - a place for those seeking the ultimate in exoticism

  • Palya S'Arenal

East of Mallorca:

  • Platja de Sant Llorenç

  • Platja de sa Coma

North of Majorca: 

  • Playa de Muro is Mallorca's largest beach

  • Platja del Port de Pollença

You can read more about the beaches in Mallorca in our guides: 

The Touristic Guide of Playa de Muro in northern Mallorca 

Santa Ponsa City Guide: Discover the Best of Mallorca's West Coast

Best Places to Visit and Stay in Mallorca


 What are the main events of San Joan Fest?

The Sant Joan holiday in Mallorca includes various festivities, including live music performances. The music tends to be more relaxed during the daytime, creating a festive atmosphere. Spanish artists usually perform on a stage near the Cathedral. As the holiday spirit intensifies, the music shifts to rock and heavy metal performances in the late afternoon. In addition, drummers march through the streets of Mallorca, playing a trance-like beat.

Live music stages can be found in all the major tourist settlements, featuring local artists and well-known performers.

Apart from drummers and demons, carnivals are held in the streets of Sant Joan in Mallorca. People dressed in traditional attire, giant figures, masked individuals, and representatives of small communities’ parade down the road, distributing sweets to children.

Local restaurants and farmers also set up stalls during the Sant Joan festivities, offering authentic regional cuisine and artisan goods for sale. Visitors can sample various delicacies such as paella, fish & chips, sobrasada, lamb, snails, and more. Local artisan jewelry and bottles of Majorcan wine can also be purchased as souvenirs.

If they hear a drumbeat, they should be prepared to encounter fire during the Sant Joan festivities in Mallorca. The costumed characters dressed as demons create an impressive fire display, blowing up tons of firecrackers, crackers, and fireworks. They use various devices, such as tridents, to set off fireworks, creating a dazzling array of sparks that fly in all directions. Visitors should exercise caution to avoid getting injured. 

Tips for enjoying the festival 

If you plan to experience the fiery night of Sant Joan on the beaches of Mallorca, be sure to secure a seat well in advance. Locals and tourists flock to the best spots, so planning ahead and reserving your spot is wise.

During the Sant Joan festivities, a drumbeat and a dazzling display of fireworks accompany the demonic ball in the streets of Mallorca.

It's not uncommon for sparks from the fireworks to fly dangerously close to the heads of passers-by. If you're eager to get up close and personal with the demons, here are some recommendations:

1.     Wear hats or a hood from a sweatshirt. Choose clothes made of cotton or linen, with long sleeves and a collar. Sparks will fall on your head and body literally.

2.     Protect your eyes. Wear glasses or buy a mask in a shop. You can buy a mask from the TEDI shop chain.

3.     Prepare for loud noise. Take special headphones or earplugs. Also, arrange with friends to meet in advance if you get lost. It is unlikely that you will be able to get through in that noise.

4.     Choose the right shoes to protect your feet.

5.     Do not wear expensive clothes and accessories. You are likely to ruin them.

6.     Park your cars away from the noisy action. This way the sparks from the fireworks won't ruin your car's paintwork.

7.     Keep your children in sight. Also take care of their safety. Choose closed clothing for children. Protect their eyes and ears. Keep children away from fireworks. Remain vigilant

In addition to advice on personal safety, we would like to share some more secrets on celebrating Sant Joan in Mallorca in the best possible way. Keep this article for yourself to get the most out of the day so it doesn't get lost. 

Make your restaurant reservations in advance. There are a lot of tourists in Mallorca at this time of year. And the locals don't mind dining in lovely places either.

Top-10 best restaurants in Mallorca: 

  1. El Perrito - Brunch & Coffee | Santa Catalina, Palma. Here you can enjoy the best breakfasts in Mallorca.

  2. Tast Avenidas | Palma de Mallorca. For those who want to get in touch with tradition, go to the best tapestries on the island: tapas, meat dishes, and wine from the best bodegas in Binissalem.

  3. Ca's Patró March, a fish restaurant with the best views in Deia. tel: 971639137

  4. Pizzeria Xiroi, the best pizzeria in Sineu, Mallorca . Tel: 971520570

  5. Authentic Restaurant Sa Farinera for meat lovers.

  6. An atmospheric and tasty place in Port Adriano is the Vino del Mar restaurant. It is an Italian restaurant located right on the marina of luxury yachts.

  7. Es Verger is a restaurant in Castillo de Alaró with a fantastic view of the island. The locals believe it offers the best lamb on the island. Tel: 971182126

  8. The most secretive Restaurant among the locals is Restaurant Ca na Miquela de ses Teuleres. It's a traditional Majorcan cuisine restaurant. This place will be a real find if you want to try nasta poella or arroz brut. tel: 971560123

  9. El Galeon Taberna in Paguera is a German and Mairkin restaurant. One of the specialties is the whole suckling pig roasted in the oven. You don't cut it with a knife, but with a plate. Be sure to break it off the floor after using it.

  10. The seafood restaurant at Restaurant Illeta. This Restaurant is in the southwest of the island. Claudia Schiffer lived for a long time in the pueblo Camp de Mar. The Restaurant has a unique location - on a separate island. The road to the Restaurant goes over a beautiful pedestrian bridge over the sea. 

Coca de Sant Joan 

Coca de Sant Joan
The Coca made for Sant Joan is a sweet pastry, very similar to a brioche, decorated with pastry cream and candied fruits

If you're in Mallorca during Sant Joan, make sure to try the traditional treat called Coca de San Juan. You can purchase it at a local Panaderia or even try making it yourself. According to legend, the cake must be twice as long as it is wide to fulfill your wish. And for those who love to cook, here's the recipe for the main cake of Sant Joan in Mallorca - Coca de San Juan: 

Ingredients:  

For  the mass

For the cream

Decoractions

  •  35 grams of baker's yeast
  •  10 grams of salt
  •  100 grams of sugar (½ cup)
  •  3 eggs
  •  100 grams of room temperature butter
  •  150 millilitres of warm milk
  •  1 lemon (peel)
  •  1 dessert spoonful of ground cinnamon
  •  500 grams of wholemeal flour
  •  500 millilitres of milk
  •  4 egg yolks
  •  125 grams of sugar
  •  40 grams of cornstarch or starch
  •  1 dessert spoonful of vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkles
  •  1 jar of cherries or candied fruit

 

Method of Preparation:

  1. First, make the custard:
  • Mix the milk with four egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and cornflour until the lumps disappear.
  • Add the mixture to a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  • Stir constantly to prevent the cream from sticking, and when it starts to boil, leave for a few seconds and remove from the heat.
  • Let the custard cool, transfer it to the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, touch the cream directly, and store it in the refrigerator.
  1. For the batter, pour warm milk into a container, add yeast, and stir to dissolve.
  2. Place the flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Mix all ingredients and make a hole in the centre to add the milk, yeast mixture, and eggs. Stir these ingredients into the dough.
  3. Place the dough on the work surface, knead more, and add the flour. You'll know there's no need to add more flour when the dough comes away from your hands easily but not wholly.
  4. Roll the dough into a ball, put it in a bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and leave for 2 hours. It would be best to let the yeast work to make an airy Coca de Sant Joan. After an hour, you'll see that the dough has doubled in volume.
  5. Roll out the dough. You'll get a large or two small Coca de San Juan for the quantity indicated. Once stretched, place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover it again, and let it rest for another hour. After this time, it will rise slightly. At this stage, you can use your knuckles to form a grid on the surface to fill these lines with cream later.
  6. Fill the lines formed in the previous step with custard. We recommend using a pastry bag for this. Place cherries on each cross to finish shaping the traditional Coca de Sant Joan. Bake the Coca at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes, ensuring it does not burn. Depending on the type of oven, the time may vary.
  7. Once the Coca is golden on top, take it out of the oven. Let it cool, and decorate it with a sprinkling of sugar on top. Done!

Keep this recipe to make the tastiest and most authentic Coca de Sant Joan and surprise your loved ones with a traditional Mallorcan delicacy. 

Wrapping it up 

The Sant Joan Festival is an unforgettable experience that embodies the spirit of Mallorca during summertime. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned veteran, this guide will help you maximize your time at the festival.

Remember to stay safe and keep the streets clean. Otherwise, enjoy a unique holiday in one of the best places on the planet, Mallorca in Spain. It will be a memorable experience for both adults and children.

If you're planning to visit Mallorca during the Sant Joan holiday, you're in luck! This holiday is just one of the many exciting things to do in Mallorca in June. To plan your trip in the best way possible, take advantage of the recommendations in our comprehensive guide:

Exploring Mallorca in June: A Complete Guide to the Best of the Island

You'll fall in love with Mallorca at first sight during your June visit.

Consider staying or buying a holiday property in Mallorca. Yes! Mallorca Property's experts can provide you with the best advice on how to do so.

Our catalogue has over 700 properties for sale, including those available upon request, and is updated daily. Find your dream property in our catalogue today: Property to Buy in Mallorca

We also recommend reading our research paper, which provides all the information you need on the Mallorca property market, including forecasts from experts and reputable publications: Mallorca Property Prices & Market Report 2023

More Articles to Read

Discover information about the Sant Jaume Festival (Les Festes del Reí en Jaume) in Santa Ponsa

Easter Traditions of Mallorca

Exploring Mallorca in May

The Balearic Battle: Ibiza vs Mallorca vs Menorca

The complete Guide to the best on Mallorca in June  

Best Places to Visit and Stay in Mallorca



Read Related Articles

Exploring Mallorca in March: The Full Guide to Weather, Activities & Local Festival
02/26/2024

Exploring Mallorca in March: The Full Guide to Weather, Activities & Local Festival

Plan your March getaway to Mallorca with insights on weather, attractions, local festivals & travel costs. Dive into Majorca's charm with a comprehensive guide.
Living Expenses in Mallorca: A Comparison with Scandinavian Countries
02/19/2024

Living Expenses in Mallorca: A Comparison with Scandinavian Countries

Learn Mallorca's living costs in 2024 compared to Scandinavian countries. Our comprehensive analysis covers essentials like food, utilities, and property prices.
Mallorca cycling: the complete guide for bike lovers, including maps, routes and hiring information
01/17/2024

Mallorca cycling: the complete guide for bike lovers, including maps, routes and hiring information

Explore the cycling paradise of Mallorca with a complete guide for bike lovers. Find the perfect routes and rental information for an unforgettable experience.

Back to the list