San juan day holiday: Noche de San Juan | Discover Puerto Rico

NATIONAL JUAN DAY — September 13, 2023

National Juan Day is celebrated on September 13. The name Juan, having Spanish origins can also be traced to the Hebrew word ‘Yehanan,’ a short form of ‘Yehohanan,’ derived from ‘yehōhānān’ which means ‘Yahweh or God is gracious.’ Juan Carlos I, the former King of Spain, and Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean and was also Puerto Rico’s first governor, are all noteworthy bearers of the name. Juan is well-known thanks to references like Don Juan and San Juan.

History of National Juan Day

This popular Spanish variant of John means “God is generous” or “God’s gift.” Juan, derived from the Hebrew form and “John” in English, can be easily linked to various saints, apostles, commoners, and monarchs.

Juan is a popular choice in Spain and many Spanish-speaking countries around the world, including the Philippines, but it is pronounced differently. Juanito is the diminutive form, which is the Spanish equivalent of Johnny. This classic biblical name denotes strength, intelligence, and charity, and is arguably one of the most well-known Christian names. Juana, the feminine form, is similar to Joan, Jane, or Joanna.

After the First Crusade in the 1000s, Eastern Christians in the Byzantine Empire reintroduced Juan to Western Europeans. It spread across Europe in diverse forms, despite its Spanish origins.

In 2009, the infant name Juan was ranked number 28 in Spain and also highly rated in Mexico when combined with other first names. The name Juan has been used in the United States since 1880. The use of Juan as a baby name increased by about 113.48% in 1990, boosting its popularity index.

Juan was the name given to 6,738 newborns in 2021, accounting for about 0.2% of all baby boys born in the United States during the year. According to Social Security Administration data, Juan has experienced a decline in popularity despite holding a strong position in the list of top 100 names from the 2000 to 2015 period.

National Juan Day timeline


Juan Enters the Charts

Juan enters the American popularity charts for the first time.


Usage Improves

Juan’s popularity index rises with increased usage.


Juan Enters the Top 100 Chart

It finally becomes one of the top 100 most popular boy’s names.

1990 — 2000

Juan Reaches Record Highs

Juan’s popularity peaks.

National Juan Day


Is Juan a unisex name?

Juan belongs to the gender-neutral unisex names.

What is a good nickname for Juan?

Here are some nickname ideas for people named Juan: Juanie, Juani, Juany, Juju, Ju, and Juanito.

Is Juan a good name for a pet?

Juan is a mono-syllabic name, making it short and catchy, which is excellent for a pet’s name. Even better is that it’s not the most common name, so your pet will surely stand out. If you’re a fan of the name, you should go ahead and use it!

National Juan Day Activities

  1. Research famous Juans

    Juan Day is a fantastic opportunity to get to know famous Juans. Put your research skills to use and you just might learn a thing or two.

  2. Use the name

    Why not name a child or even a pet Juan? With personality traits like strength, confidence, and a pioneering spirit, you’ll be setting them up for an exciting life.

  3. Share the holiday on social media

    Create awareness for this name day by sharing quotes from famous Juans or facts about the day. Get people talking about the name.

5 Interesting Facts About Juans

  1. Two for one

    In Mexico, Juan is paired with other names to make names like Juan Carlos, Juan Pablo, Juan José, and Juan Diego.

  2. Unruly behavior

    Juans aren’t fans of taking orders.

  3. Thrill seekers

    They tend to get bored easily and will jump to another project if they don’t feel challenged.

  4. Pioneers

    Juans are generally enthusiastic and have a pioneering spirit.

  5. Erratic

    They have intensely active personalities, but they have a reputation for being starters rather than finishers.

Why We Love National Juan Day

  1. Creating a legacy

    Many parents are inspired by prominent individuals who gain respect and recognition and cement their names in the history books. These people create a legacy from which we can celebrate special days such as this one.

  2. Juans make great leaders

    Juans have tough personalities as leaders; they can be strong and competitive. They are willing to take action and bear risks.

  3. Recognizing the importance of names

    Names are the foundation of our identities. This holiday allows us to reflect on the role our names play in our lives as well as understand their symbolism.

National Juan Day dates

Year Date Day
2023 September 13 Wednesday
2024 September 13 Friday
2025 September 13 Saturday
2026 September 13 Sunday
2027 September 13 Monday

Your guide to San Juan in Spain: what, where and when

The 23rd of June is a very big deal. Discover what happens on San Juan in Spain and the history of it all, and where you need to be to enjoy it to the full

Have you ever heard of the festival of San Juan in Spain? If you’ve ever happened to have been in the country, and especially on its beaches, on the 23rd June, you’ll have been hard-pressed to have ignored the celebrations. But what’s it all about? Read on to discover everything you need to know about San Juan in Spain.

What is La Noche de San Juan in Spain?

San Juan’s, or St John’s, feast day falls on the 24th of June every year, but it’s on St John’s eve, the 23rd of June, that the celebrations take place. Just a few short days after midsummer, it’s a Spanish festival celebrated on beaches all over the country that welcomes the summer ahead.Most Spanish people consider it to mark the true beginning of summer, which the season when Spain comes into its own. So, as you can imagine, it’s a fantastic excuse for a party.This is very much a fire-focused celebration and the bonfires of St John that burn on the country’s beaches are legendary. The bonfires of San Juan are said to purify and protect, warding off evil spirits.Some people celebrate with family, some with friends, and some make new friends on the beach, but there’s always food, drink and music involved.Some places are busier than others for these celebrations, one of the most popular festivals in Spain, but you’re pretty much guaranteed a great atmosphere wherever you go. If you opt for any of Spain’s big coastal cities, expect crowds.

What superstitions are associated with the San Juan festival in Spain?

Some people still believe that this is a magical night one which ancient pagan gods are closer to humans. That’s the origin of many of the rituals that people still take part in on the night on the San Juan festival. Traditions vary all over the country, but fire-jumping is widespread, and is meant to strengthen the sun, or to burn your problems away and bring good luck. It’s traditional to jump at least three times, but some people jump up to nine.

In Malaga, for example, as well as in lots of other spots in Spain, some people make wishes when midnight comes around on the night of the fiesta of San Juan. They write down their wishes for the months ahead and the things that they want to say goodbye to on the night of San Juan on pieces of paper.They then burn them in the bonfires of St John, symbolising liberation from the past and hope for the future. After that, they run into the sea for a swim, picturing those wishes coming true.Wherever you are, the rituals linked to San Juan in Spain are all to do with fire and water. People might burn something old to represent a new start, swim in the ocean to purify their soul, or drink from fountains, which some believe take on magical healing properties on the night.

What to take with you for a San Juan party

If you’re celebrating on a beach that has bars and restaurants, then they’ll be open and selling food and drinks throughout the evening, so you don’t need to come very prepared.You will, however, need your swimming costume and a towel. Make sure to take a warm layer with you, as although Spanish nights are typically very warm by this time of year, you’d be surprised at how chilly it can get on the coast.If you’re heading outside the city, then you won’t be able to rely on beach bars or ready-made bonfires, so you’ll need your own supplies of food, drink, firewood and music.Wherever you’re going to spend the night of San Juan in Spain, make sure you bring along bags that you can put all your rubbish in, so that you can recycle it later, as there have been big problems with plastic waste from the festivities being washed out to sea.

Where to celebrate Spain’s bonfire festival

As we’ve mentioned, beaches all around the country fill up on the night of San Juan in Spain, and traditions vary slightly everywhere you go. You’re bound to have a good time wherever you end up, but if you want to make a trip of it then there are certain hotspots that are worth planning your holiday around.For example, in Barcelona, San Juan, or Sant Joan in Catalan, is also known as the ‘night of fire’, and the main focus is on fireworks. Barceloneta beach is a fantastic place to enjoy the festivities, just make sure you get there early to grab a spot.The Alicante festival takes things to another level, with a 9-day festival running from the 20th to the 29th of June, with a ceremonial burning of effigies, and a fireworks competition every night.Valencia and Tenerife are also fantastic places to spend this unique Spanish celebration, the festival of San Juan. So, grab your swimsuit, kick off your shoes and get ready to dance the night away on the Spanish sand, saying hello to summer.

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How is San Juan celebrated in Spain?

The Feast of San Juan, or Saint John’s Day, falls on the 24th of June every year in Spain. However, it is on the eve of St. John’s Day, June 23, that the main celebrations take place. Celebrated on beaches across the country, this Spanish festival welcomes the middle of summer. After reading the article, you will get acquainted with the old traditions of this holiday. You will also learn how it is celebrated in Barcelona and Alicante.

1. What are the long traditions of San Juan in Spain?

Midsummer celebrations have been a long tradition almost everywhere in Europe. It was originally a pagan holiday on the Summer Solstice (June 21). In the old days, people celebrated the longest day of the year with folk festivals, dances and songs.

Later, this holiday merged with the Christian celebration of the Nativity of John the Baptist and moved to June 24th. Meanwhile, the tradition of celebrating this day has faded in some places. However, in Spain and especially in Catalonia, the Day of St. John the Baptist is still a big holiday. It offers many different events and colorful shows for you to enjoy.

Some people still believe that this is a magical night when the ancient pagan gods become closer to people. This is the origin of many of the rituals in which people still take part on the night of San Juan.
Traditions vary throughout the country, but fire jumping is widespread and is meant to strengthen the Sun or to burn trouble and bring good luck. Traditionally they jump at least three times, but some people jump up to nine.

On the night of San Juan in Spain, bonfires are also lit to ward off evil spirits. And in Malaga, as in many other places in Spain, some people make wishes at midnight of the San Juan fiesta. They write down on scraps of paper their wishes for the coming months and what they want to say goodbye to on the night of San Juan.
Then they burn them at the fires of St. John, symbolizing liberation from the past and hope for the future. After that, they run into the sea to swim, imagining how these wishes come true.

Wherever you are, all the rituals associated with San Juan in Spain are associated with fire and water. People may burn something old to represent a new beginning. They will bathe in the ocean to purify their souls, or drink from fountains that some believe take on magical healing powers at night.

Today Catalonia, Valencia are fantastic places to celebrate this unique Spanish holiday called San Juan or Saint John’s Day.

2. How San Juan is celebrated in Barcelona (Catalonia)

On the eve of St. John’s Day, or Verbena de San Juan in Spanish, Barcelona traditionally has a lot to do. Throughout the city, locals gather to eat and dance. In many parts of Barcelona you will find stages where local artists offer musical performances. And of course, there are several bonfires of St. John scattered throughout the city.

You will find them, for example, on the Rambla del Raval and the Plaza del Sol, in the neighborhood of Gràcia. The biggest place where the party will take place is the beach. It is especially good for young people who can enjoy their time by the fires, right by the sea, and take advantage of the opportunity for a night swim.

In fact, fire is the key element of Verbena de San Juan. In addition to bonfires, fireworks are arranged here on the night of June 23. The fireworks show usually takes place around midnight. In addition, during Verbena de San Juan, locals also throw firecrackers.

In Catalonia there is a special kind of pastry that people prepare for this holiday. It is called «Pie San Juan» (la Coca de San Juan). It is baked on the basis of yeast dough and topped with candied fruits and pine nuts. You can find this cake in almost every supermarket during the week leading up to the holiday. However, if you want to try a really tasty pie, you should probably buy it from a local bakery.

In addition to this, there are many other entertainments during this period of time. Tourists may be interested in walking tours, a Spanish cooking class, cycling, paintball, water park, jet skiing, kayaking and of course the legendary Barcelona parties on the ship!

3. How is San Juan celebrated in Alicante (Valencia)?

Alicante celebrates the arrival of summer with a 9-day festival from 20 to 29 June and the bonfires of San Juan, also called Hogueras. With music and fireworks, thousands of people crowd the streets to experience this Fiesta that pays tribute to fire.

To celebrate the arrival of summer, the people of Alicante traditionally gathered in the countryside on June 23rd for a gala dinner. They feasted, and at midnight they lit fires and danced around them, set off fireworks and bathed in the sea.

This custom continued through the years, and in 1928 the San Juan bonfire festivals were officially established. For several days, Alicante celebrates this great tribute to the fire, where authentic works of ephemeral art (huge cardboard and wooden figures) burn in flames on the San Juan night. Similar actions are observed in Valencia and during the March Fallas festival…

Read article: «Valencia Fire Festival»

The Queen of the Fiesta, known as the «Bellea del Foc», is selected in May from candidates nominated by a committee in each district. The festivals officially begin on June 20 with the «planta» or building of huge bonfires with their cardboard figures that fill the streets of Alicante.

On this day, «barracas» or large tents are also arranged to serve as a public dance floor. In them, visitors to the fiesta can try typical figs and coca (a type of biscuit with tuna, onions and pine nuts).

Some of the highlights of the festivals include processions by groups and committees with their chosen «beauties» and their ladies-in-waiting dressed in traditional dress. On June 21 and 22, a flower offering is made to the patroness of the city, the Virgin of El Remedio. On the same day, the International Folklore Parade takes place, in which dance troupes from all over the world participate.

In addition, there are fireworks displays every day at 2 pm from 19 to 24 June in the Plaza de los Luceros. These are deafening «masklets», for which ear plugs are highly recommended due to the roar of exploding firecrackers and rockets. And finally, at midnight on June 24, comes the “crema” or “burning”, the highest point of the fiesta.

After an impressive fireworks display, bonfires are lit throughout the city and cardboard figures burst into flames amid great merriment, dancing and singing. At this time, firefighters pour water on the merry people, which is known as «banya».

But the Fiesta doesn’t end there. From 25 to 29 June, a fireworks competition is held on El Postiguet Beach, while the historic center of the city is enlivened by a medieval market and a variety of shows.

This is how San Juan is celebrated in Spain! How Saint John’s Day is celebrated in Porto (Portugal), read here:

Read the article: «Feast of St. John in Porto»

Read also:

Holidays in Spain

Holidays and festivals around the world

Popular festivals of the world

Dear readers! Write comments! Read the articles on the World of Holidays website!

Magical San Juan or the Festival of Lights

Spain: Yesterday and Today

Elizaveta Petrova

During my three years of living in Barcelona, ​​I realized one thing: the Catalans love the element of fire. Almost every holiday they have is accompanied by salutes and fireworks. But there is a special day when the city turns into something magical.

June 23, — San Juan (la noche de San Juan). The origin of this holiday is still controversial, since the origins of its origin go deep into antiquity.


In the 4th century, the Byzantine emperor Theodosius proclaimed Christianity the official religion. From that moment began the persecution of all those who practiced pagan cults. But the orders that Theodosius tried to establish were not always fully supported even by his Christian allies. No matter how hard Theodosius and his associates tried to put an end to pagan beliefs, which they considered the rituals of heretics, pagan traditions left their mark on Christian holidays and formed part of religious culture.

Emperor Theodosius

San Juan is a vivid example of such a pagan cult. Adherents of Christianity borrowed the pagan tradition and dated it to the celebration of the Nativity of John the Baptist, which falls on June 24th. But it was on this day that the ancient Celtic civilizations revered the Sun, so the San Juan holiday has an ancient, pre-Christian origin and is associated with the summer solstice and the onset of summer.

The fact is that St. Juan’s Night from 23 to 24 June is the shortest of the year. For this reason, the holiday symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. The custom of lighting fires came from the ancient pagan cult of the sun. In addition, there was a belief in the healing power of fire, which drove away evil spirits and diseases.
John the Baptist

How do they celebrate?

John the Baptist

In Catalan, the night of San Juan is called « Nit del Foc «, which means «Night of Fire». The main attributes of the holiday are fire, light, sun and water. Even before the holiday, a huge number of tents open in the city where you can buy fireworks and firecrackers. Even a week before the start of the holiday, explosions of firecrackers can be heard on the streets. Young people and teenagers love this business very much.

So we prepared for the holiday and bought a lot of different firecrackers! In the flame of bonfires, which are lit everywhere on this night, all the bad things that have accumulated over the year are burned.

We thoroughly prepared for the holiday. Firecrackers are different!

As the evening of June 23 approaches, people everywhere take to the streets of the city and set off fireworks. The very center of the festivities is, of course, the beach. On the beach, in Badalona (playa de Badalona), a huge effigy is burned. People come to this place with families and friends, have picnics on the beach, eat, drink, have fun and, of course, set off fireworks. The party goes on all night long!

Pyrotechnics for every taste and budget

Stunning fireworks are launched on the famous Barceloneta promenade. The city organizes various events, live music, entertainment for children.

Perhaps the only ones who are not happy with the general holiday are the fire departments and the police. Sirens do not stop sounding throughout the night. Tipsy, excited by the festive atmosphere, people rarely follow the safety rules when launching fireworks. Often this leads to sad consequences.

What do they eat?


A traditional treat in Catalonia, on San Juan Night, is the coca pie. Coca has a round shape and symbolizes the sun. Coca is usually made with vanilla, butter cream and dried fruits.

Cabello de ángel

Another traditional filling for these pies is known as « cabello de ángel » or «angel’s hair». This is an interesting name for jam made from special varieties of pumpkin. Its consistency really resembles the hair of an angel.

Anise seeds are also the main ingredient for holiday cakes, which convey an incredible aroma. And on this day they drink champagne or, as the locals call it, “ cava ”.

Many nightclubs and discos open their doors and throw the best parties in San Juan!

According to legend, the water on this day is saturated with magical properties. That is why on this day they bathe in the sea. The verbena plant also becomes healing, capable of healing all diseases on the Night of San Juan. Locals believe that miracles happen on this magical night.

Tip 1

Locals love to celebrate San Juan in restaurants and bars. Therefore, if you decide to go to dinner that day in a restaurant, I advise you to book a table in advance.

Tip 2

June 24th is a non-working day in Barcelona. Many bars, restaurants, shops, banks are closed on this day. So it’s better to buy everything in advance.

Tip 3

Do not go swimming the day after San Juan. The beaches are very dirty on this day. They are filled with leftover fireworks, cans, bottles and other rubbish. Cleaners, like everyone else, rest on this day. On the morning after San Juan, the city seems to die out and the atmosphere of “after the holiday” reigns in Barcelona.

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