Saint John festivity

Article

July 1, 2022

The Feast of San Juan, also called Eve of San Juan or Noche de San Juan, is the eve of the celebration prior to the Christian festival of the birth of Saint John the Baptist on June 24. Some link the festivity or some of its celebrations to rites of pagan origin prior to or unrelated to Christianity (Litha), reminiscent of human sacrifices.[1] [2] In European-Mediterranean countries, bonfires are usually a common element . This celebration of Saint John the Baptist occurs because he is the saint who is next to the baby Jesus and the only one whose birth is celebrated, during the night of the 23rd you can see beautiful altars where they show the saint and accompanied by many peals of drum and spirits kick off the festivities. On the morning of the 24th, the saint is taken from the place where he was kept for a year and is carried on the head or on the shoulders of the person named as his guardian, who in this case is the owner of the place where he was kept, it is a tour which is done throughout the town or community where they hold the celebration until they reach the church where they culminate with the celebration of a mass and the fabulous beating of the drums. The faithful wait for nightfall to perform some rituals that give prominence to the day, one of them is to cut their hair so that it grows stronger, another is to place an egg in a glass of water and thus have knowledge of their future, It is also said that on that day the water acquires beneficial properties, the plants have miraculous and healing qualities and other ceremonies that are carried out by believers with great faith, then the saint is left in the church and the town dedicates itself to celebrating the whole night under the beat of drums. Another celebration is that of San Juan Congo [3] despite not being registered in the calendar of Catholic festivities as it is eight days after the feast of San Juan, in some communities they celebrate the day of the well-known San Juan Guaricongo. His well-known couplet: San Juan Guaricongo pela head take off your hat, pa' go dance. The arrival of the summer solstice is celebrated throughout the Spanish geography with ancestral rites and traditions. Some think that San Juan is the shortest night of the year (in the northern hemisphere) or the longest (in the south); although this usually happens on June 21; lengthening in cities the party until dawn. The night of San Juan has acquired the magic of the ancient pagan festivals that were organized with the summer solstice.[4] The origin of this custom is associated with the celebrations in which the arrival of the summer solstice was celebrated, on June 21 in the northern hemisphere, whose main rite consists of lighting a bonfire. The purpose of this rite was to "give more strength to the sun", which from those days was becoming "weaker" ―the days are getting shorter until the winter solstice. Symbolically, the fire also has a "purifying" function in the people who contemplate it. It is celebrated in many parts of Europe, although it is especially popular in England (Midsummer or St. John's Eve), Ireland, Spain, Portugal (fogueiras de São João), Norway (Jonsok), Denmark (Sankthans), Sweden (Midsommar), Finland (Juhannus), Estonia (Jaanipäev). In South America (where it approaches the winter solstice) it is celebrated especially in the northeast of Argentina, Brazil (it has Festas Juninas), Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, where the night of San Juan is also related to ancient Spanish traditions and legends such as the Legend of the Enchanted. The Christian feast of Saint John is June 24, six months before the eve of Jesus' birth, which is December 24. These six months are the difference that the gospels indicate and