SPANISH FESTIVITIES: SAINT JUAN’S MAGIC NIGHT
GO TO THE EAST ZONE IN SPAIN WITH MYHOSTPITALITY AND ENJOY SAINT JUAN’S NIGHT
In this post, we tell you traditions about that night and how to celebrate it. We will continue telling you about different festivals and holidays during the summer. Don’t miss any celebration.
Saint Juan’s Night is the most magic and shorter night of the year, and this night is full of legends and traditions. It is a saint, sacred and purification night. During that night, anyone is superstitious even any sceptic person.
The beginnings of Saint Juan’s Night are associated with the summer solstice the 21st of June. The bonfire was lighted to help the sun. As it is already known by everybody, since that moment the days become shorter, so the bonfire is lighted to make the days longer.
This fest is held the 23rd of June at night, due to the adaptation that Christians made in order to relate it with Saint John the Baptist’s birthday, which is the 24th June.
During that night is very common to light bonfires and jump it. Besides, people throw there all their wishes into the bonfire, to let them be granted.
This celebration takes place in Spain, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and United Kingdom; Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador and Puerto Rico.
Official bonfires are held in Alicante and they have been declared Site of Cultural Interest. In San Pedro Manrique (Soria), that night people have to walk during five seconds over three metres of wood coal without shoes. There are people who do it simply for tradition; however, there are other people that do it because they have done religious promise.
There are three characteristic elements during this night:
The fire, which is an element of purification and strength for both, people and the sun. The fire set aside bad spirits and bad luck. In addition, bonfire’s ashes have therapeutic effects. For this reason, the fire is the main element during that night. If you jump the bonfire you will be protected for all year.
The water is an element of purity and fertility, it gives health, happiness and it also cures illnesses.
The land, medicinal herbs have an important role that night because for that night their therapeutic effects are improved.
Jump these bonfires with MyHOSTpitality
MyHOSTpitality gives you the opportunity to put into practice Saint Juan’s typical rituals. If you have the chance to come to Spain and enjoy this festival and you don’t have accommodation yet, join our community and be the guest of one of our native families located in the east of Spain. They will be delighted to show you the language and the traditions of this feast, in exchange you will only have to speak with them some hours a day in your native language!
Come to Spain and enjoy…
- Jumping the bonfire is the most popular activity during this fest. The number of times you jump it depend on the place you celebrate this fest for example, in Galicia people jump nine times, while in Alicante and Valencia people jump seven times. If you jump with your partner you will have happiness and fortune. Another tradition is that girls throw garlands above bonfires and boys have to take it before they fall into the fire.
- Bathing in the sea and jumping nine waves during the night will give you health, happiness, and will also eliminate bad energy.
- Herbs have therapeutic effects; the most typical are fennel, fern, Saint Juan herbs, common mallow, rosemary and Luisa’s herbs. If you put those herbs in water all night and the next morning you wash your face with this water, you will be able to rejuvenate your skin and you will prevent illnesses.
- Asking for a wish: you have to write your wish on a paper together with a branch of ivy, later put it under your pillow. Besides, you have to light a white candle for all the night. In the morning, you have to burn the paper with the candle and after you will have to bury all the elements. Another option is to plant a hydrangea the day before Saint John; if your plant flowers your dreams will become true.
- Making a promise while making a cross on a tree trunk, your promise won’t break
Now, you only have to come to Valencia to enjoy the experience of this magic night. What are you waiting for? Enjoy this festivity!
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