Happy Saint John’s night!

Happy Saint John’s night!

Is this a traditional celebration where you live?
It’s a very strong tradition in Galicia, maybe the most enjoyed night in the year. People, mostly teenagers, build up to 3 meter high piles of wood that are lit at midnight. They spend weeks seeking for scrap wood at construction sites and asking for old furniture at the neighbourhood. Cities and towns get covered in smoke. After some time of burning, when the height of the flames is low enough, people jump over the fires. The embers are used to grill pilchards, which are consumed in great amount (its price doubles these days).
Of course, nobody can eat grilled pilchards without wine, which is also consumed in great amount…
It’s really a lot of fun.

Re: Happy Saint John’s night!

Hey Ramiro, sounds like a blast, I’m sure there’s plenty of music too, right? 😉

Looks like celebrating the arrival of summer is a long, time-honored tradition regardless of ethnicity or cultural background, pretty cool:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer

Re: Happy Saint John’s night!

There is music, but it’s not a specially musical night, maybe musicians fear that their instruments get burned 😉
I suppose the summer solstice is celebrated since thousands of years, and it seems to be often linked with fire.

Re: Happy Saint John’s night!

I believe it happens in Cornwall, but not England in general. The Reformation, and indeed the Mediaeval church before, more or less banished it. People go to Stonehenge etc. at the solstice, but this is neo-pagan and not connected at all with St. John (who I gather was John the Baptist).

The unpredictable and wet nature of the English summer - especially June - makes it impossible to fix a date therein and guarantee far in advance that it will be dry enough for a bonfire and a party - let alone guarantee it will be so every year. It makes more sense to forget about this, and just whip out the barbecue kit at short notice when there’s a gap in the weather.

Re: Happy Saint John’s night!

We live near a beach , here in northern Spain,where, traditionally, bonfires are lit on St. John´s eve.
Bonfire odours are already beginning to waft in through the open windows (it´s warm and muggy) and it´s definately time to bring the washing in off the line !
It reminds me a bit ( but only a bit ! ) of Guy Fawke´s night in the London suburbs when I was a kid..

Re: Happy Saint John’s night!

St. Jean Baptiste is a huge ‘national festival each year in Quebec. Bonfires, neighbourhood parties, music, parades, etc. Lots of fun and a paid holiday!

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