The birth of Saint John the Baptist is one of the most important Catholic feast days in Spain.

In Ciutadella, on the Balearic Island of Menorca, horses are made to rear on their hind legs while surrounded by large crowds. Brave members of the crowd may try to run under the rearing horses.

Members of the crowd try to touch rearing horses in Ciutadella, Menorca
Members of the crowd try to touch rearing horses in Ciutadella, MenorcaAFP
A horse rears in the crowd during the annual festival of Sant Joan (Catalan for Saint John)
A horse rears in the crowd during the annual festival of Sant Joan (Catalan for Saint John)AFP
A rider rears up on his horse while surrounded by cheering crowds during the traditional Fiesta of San Juan (Saint John) in Ciutadella, on the Spanish Balearic Island of Menorca
A rider rears up on his horse while surrounded by cheering crowds during the traditional Fiesta of San Juan (Saint John) in Ciutadella, on the Spanish Balearic Island of MenorcaReuters

Throughout Spain, Saint John's Day is celebrated with bonfires as people burn objects they no longer need. Revellers burn unwanted furniture, old school books, wood and effigies of political leaders and evil spirits.

At beach parties young people jump over the flames to cleanse them of their sins on Saint John's night, the shortest night of the year.

A couple embraces in front of a bonfire during a party held on the night of the San Juan on the beach of Playa de Poniente in Gijon, Spain
A couple embraces in front of a bonfire during a party held on the night of the San Juan on the beach of Playa de Poniente in Gijon, SpainReuters
People attend a party held during the night of the San Juan bonfire on a beach in Gijon, northern Spain
People attend a party held during the night of the San Juan bonfire on a beach in Gijon, northern SpainReuters
Satirical cardboard sculptures of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, US President Barack Obama, German Chanceller Angela Merkel, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and French President Francois Hollande are displayed prior to being set alight during the annual San Juan celebrations in Alicante, Spain
Satirical cardboard sculptures of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, US President Barack Obama, German Chanceller Angela Merkel, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and French President Francois Hollande are displayed prior to being set alight during the annual San Juan celebrations in Alicante, SpainAFP
People watch a San Juan fireworks display at La Misericordia beach in Malaga, Spain. On the night of San Juan, people burn objects they no longer want and make wishes as they jump through flames or swim in the sea
People watch a San Juan fireworks display at La Misericordia beach in Malaga, Spain. On the night of San Juan, people burn objects they no longer want and make wishes as they jump through flames or swim in the seaReuters
Children throw last year's textbooks into a bonfire during the festival of San Juan in Mugica, in the Basque Country, Spain
Children throw last year's textbooks into a bonfire during the festival of San Juan in Mugica, in the Basque Country, SpainReuters