Years, decades and centuries pass and San Juan night it still remains one of the most special.
A feast marking the summer solstice in between June 23 and 24 It is celebrated differently in different parts of Spain and the rest of the world.
If you want to know these celebrations and know how welcome to summer keep reading.
PS: If your celebration doesn’t appear on this list, I’d love to meet her. Leave it to me in the comments and we will add it without any problems.
What is the origin of San Juan night?
As you will discover later, much of this festival is associated with the character of Juan Bautista. However, its origins are much older.
There is a typical tradition of lighting a bonfire on the night of June 23-24 pagan rites.
These communities of people lit a bonfire the shortest night of the year in honor of the sunlight.
The reality is that it did not become religious until the time of the Catholic monarchs of Spain.
Who was Saint John the Baptist?
Good question, isn’t it?
We usually talk about such ceremonies without stopping to think about who gives them a name in our culture.
Saint John the Baptist was born on June 24, according to the Bible. His father was Zacharias and he was in charge of lighting the bonfire announcing the birth of Jesus.
John the Baptist used baptism as the sacrament of Christianity and that it was he who baptized Jesus.
Have you ever realized that “baptism” comes from “Baptists”?
Saint John of Barcelona
It is one of the most important festivities in the city of Barcelona.
Tradition indicates that families and friends must gather the day before as a family to eat traditionally “St. John’s Cake”.
In addition, on the afternoon of June 23, the flames of St. John were lit on Plaça Jaume by flames coming from Canigou.
Zafra’s human chess
The streets of Zafra are decorated in memory of the night of San Juan. Of all his traditions, it is the most special a game of human chess which occurs on its streets.
Two people fight in a duel followed by hundreds and thousands of people, which has just as many people as the protagonist who follows orders.
San Juan bonfires
Its biggest representative is Alicante.
At this celebration, the purifying nature of fire is used to burn everything and give way to a summer in which only the positive and the optimistic are counted.
According to tradition, a person who burns his bad moments on a bonfire will be able to get rid of them and will be protected for the rest of the year.
In more than one city, in order for your wishes to come true, you have to skip the bonfire an odd (always odd) number of times.
Nine waves of San Juan
As I have already told you, the power of the San Juan night is its restorative nature. In some places it will be associated with fire, and somewhere with water, which is considered blessed.
According to tradition, those who swim in the sea during the early hours of the night in San Juan will be guaranteed health for the rest of the year.
Eat Juan from Peru
Now we have to travel outside the Atlantic Ocean to discover the tradition of the Amazon region in Peru.
In this area, San Juan Night coincides with Sun party: Inti Raymi. A fact that over time led to the unification of both traditions.
In this way, people go to the rivers and eat yuan, a ball of rice, also prepared with eggs, olives and poultry.
By the way, the name of this dish is called “Juane” after “Juan Bautista”, a saint whose head was beheaded. Do you already know what part of that man food is?
Night Júas de Málaga
It all starts at midnight.
During the night of San Juan in Malaga, “juas” are burned, large working dolls full of sawdust, which represent a popular character.
Of course, this character is extremely characterized by giving the stranger the burlesque tone he deserves.
The burning of Juanes and Juanillos in Cádiz
Of all the San Juan celebrations held in Andalusia, this is one of the most interesting.
In Cádiz, rag dolls are burned – juanillos – and skip the embers of the bonfires that swallowed them.
After the year 2020 in which the COVID19 pandemic prevented us from enjoying this party as always, in 2021 we have another opportunity.
Of course, compliance with all necessary sanitary measures that guarantee our safety and the safety of the people who follow us.
If you’ve read this list of Spanish and Latin American traditions on the night of San Juan, and haven’t found yours, I’d love to know it.
Write me in the comments what your fun is and what makes it so special and so we will create a unique article with all the stories worth telling.