The Intense Fire Night of Tenerife

Every midsummer, Tenerife celebrates Noche de San Juan. Processions of burning torches head towards the sea in an ancient tradition that includes jumping over bonfires and midnight bathing in the sea. 
The celebration dates back to the island’s native Guanche days and the shortest night of the year is a large event in the traditional parts of the island. This photo series is from yesterday’s event in Icod de Los Vinos.

© Photos and captions by Eldar Einarson


Clouds are very common in Icod de Los Vinos. The gray weather has now lasted for six months and midsummer was no exception


Never mind the long absence of sun, people are gathering early at Playa San Marcos to celebrate the shortest night of the year


Waiting for the fire night


The clouds seem to have found a permanent resting place over Icod de Los Vinos. While southern Spain experiences heatwaves and drought, Northern Tenerife remains cool and pleasant


The gray also has its beauty…


An Italian chocolate mousse fits all kinds of weather…


Finally, the sun shows up for a short farewell performance…


…and leaves the scene to the fire people


Bonfires are lit on the beach


Brave boys are preparing for an ancient ritual


If you jump over the fire three times, you will be cleansed from all evil


A proud young man who seems to have completed the task


Seeking shelter from the fire and smoke


Real men never give in


Thousands are participating all over the island


Midnight bathers


Despite council cuts and reduced program, thousands were out in the fire and smoke-filled night drinking loads of alcohol accompanied by drums. It was like being in the center of a controlled catastrophe and the party went on to the early morning.

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