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Estepona Travel Guide

Festivals and Celebrations in Estepona


Estepona bonfireThroughout the different neighbourhoods of Estepona, spectacular goings-on celebrate the Feast of St John (San Juan). The fiesta is a pagan tradition given Christian sanction for it dates back to an ancient celebration of the Midsummer Solstice. It is a festival of bonfires and mayhem in the streets, echoed all over Spain.

The climax of the festival comes at midnight on the 23rd when juas, large cloth figures filled with sawdust, paper or similar materials, are set on fire. These figures are made by the people of the neighbourhoods and usually represent a grotesque caricature of some public figure. The bonfire is also the occasion to get rid of old furniture, which helps to keep the fire burning much longer!

Most of the bonfires prepared to burn the juas are set up along the beach. When the flames have dwindled to an appropriate size, young people start jumping over the fire, demonstrating great ability in a competition of skill and bravery. At the same time the rest of the group continues to dance around the fire.

According to tradition, the night of San Juan is magical (in Rome it is thought the witches fly) and anyone having a swim in the sea or who washes his/her face with sea water at the stroke of midnight will conserve eternal beauty.

The Veladilla, or evening celebrations, organised by the youth group at the church of San Juan are particularly noteworthy. After decorating the Calle San Juan and surrounding streets, the group organises games for children and adults, dances, competitions, masquerades, etc. There is also a beauty contest to choose Miss Veladilla for the coming year. A great night to find oneself in the pretty town of Estepona.


Estepona VirginIn the first week of Julio the music, the dance and the color invade the city during this week. Parades and riders, musical and folklore spectacles. In the days of fair, the fairground enclosure is filled with color, lights and with sheds, place where the neighbors and visitors get together to enjoy of sings and dance, of the degustation of the typical products of these days (fish doughnut, ham, "manzanilla"…) and also it is possible to to enjoy diverse musical acts. In the fairground enclosure a part remains for the smallest, a place full of attractions.


On August 15. She goes out in procession along Estepona's streets, going out of the Parish of the Remedies at 21:00 approximately, it is a procession with many rooting in Estepona, because the virgin was the former Mistress of Estepona.