At the gates of Sierra Nevada, on its southern flank, vigilant and in love with the water, stands Lanjarón, a municipality of La Alpujarra in Granada with 4,000 inhabitants that every year is small to say goodbye to spring. In the days before the Night of San Juan, this town celebrates its particular parties that culminate in a “Water Race” that edition after edition does not cease to dazzle more neighbors and visitors who join the collective embrace of summer.
Declared Andalusian Tourist Interest Festival in 2018 by the Andalusian Government, the “Water Race” is actually the last of the excuses that Lanjarón uses to conquer those who visit the municipality on those dates. Because the color, the good atmosphere and the festive aroma are the dominant tonic during the days before the race and after the development of it. Proof of this are the more than 15,000 people who have gathered at the celebrations of recent years.
A water loving town
To understand the relationship of the “Water Race” with Lanjarón, you have to go a little deeper into the idiosyncrasy of this Granada town. In fact, if you visit, just access the main street from the highway that goes to the beach to verify that water and Lanjarón are two terms that can not live separately. Its numerous springs are seen by the population without much effort on the part of the visitor. They allowed the opening of the most famous spa in the province of Granada and the water that flows through them directly from Sierra Nevada is bottled to quench the thirst of millions of people.
Because Lanjarón is water for its springs and its spa but also for the medicinal properties that emanate from its liquid element. Perhaps that is why the town is adorned with fountains in squares and streets along with famous quotes from others, such as García Lorca, who in the past could also be attracted to the magic of the cannon water.
40 years of parties
This 2019 marks four decades since the first “Water Race” took place in Lanjarón. From 1979 to today, the growth of the holiday has been such that since 2017 the City Council has been forced to charge a small ticket of 5 euros to tourists who intend to attend the party. Until recently it was common for the streets of this small town to be collapsed when the Night of San Juan arrived with the bustle caused by visitors and residents of the municipality.
Paying the price that costs to participate in the “Water Race”, participants receive a bracelet with which they have access to the main street of the town where the aforementioned race will take place at midnight. Because at that time, at twelve o’clock, with the arrival of June 24, it is when the runners finally say goodbye to spring and go deep into the summer by diving into the water they receive from the balconies of the houses or from Any point susceptible to water.
In just the kilometer and a half that the route lasts, more than one million liters of water are deposited. In addition, a children’s race, sports and cultural activities and even a proclamation are held every year.
Good atmosphere and colorful
Tourists and visitors who come to Lanjarón to live a different San Juan find a good atmosphere. And if they encourage the race, they will know that it is totally impossible not to get soaked in water. Lanjarón is a celebration open to all audiences and that brings the municipality to life. In fact, visitors should try to arrive early because if they go by private vehicle, access to a car park becomes quite complicated.
While it is true that the best known is the “Water Race”, Lanjarón also reserves proposals in the days prior to this unique celebration. “La Pública” is the parade with which this Granada town enjoys costumes and a good outdoor atmosphere. A parade full of color and talent with handmade clothes. All the people take to the streets and some get organized in clubs or groups with which to share the theme of disguise.
If all this seems little, Lanjarón does not say goodbye to spring without further ado. After the “Water Race” that ends around 1 in the morning and lasts about an hour, residents and visitors can enjoy live music until late in the morning. And the next morning, again make use of the liquid element after having paid it worthy tribute.