THE BONFIRES OF SAINT JOHN
The bonfires of Saint John is a really special festival for some cultures, because certainly, it is one of the most important and beautiful summer celebrations. The Saint John’s Eve involves old traditions and it is celebrated around the world during Midsummer, which takes place on the evening of the 23rd June. So welcome to the most magical night of the whole year!
The Festival dates back to pre-Christian times and it is related to the summer solstice. The night of Saint John is the shortest night of the year and mythology assures that strange and miraculous things can happen. Bonfires are surely the theme of this spectacular night. It has an important symbolism. In the past bonfires were lit to protect people against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southward again. Now people like gathering together and starting bonfires, as well as sharing food, dancing, and jumping over the fires.
Today the main elements of Saint John Eve are water, fire, and flora. The Baltic culture has a tradition to guess the weather on this night. If the night sky of Saint John´s is full of stars, it means that Christmas will be cold and snowy. If the night sky is cloudy, then Christmas will be rainy and windy.
Saint John´s Eve is definitely one of the most important event of the year, which is celebrated all over Spain, but especially in coastal regions like Alicante. During this time Alicante is full of music, color, fireworks and visitors. If you want to feel real Spanish rhythm, you surely must visit Alicante and experience this fiesta on the 23rd of June. We truly recommend it!
Alicante organizes several days of celebration, starting on the 19th and ending on 24th. In the city, people can enjoy lots of activities and arts, which are spectacular and related to Saint John Eve. Throughout the year, locals carefully prepare the celebrations that completely transform the city´s streets. On the 23rd of June at midnight people light bonfires and dance around them, set off fireworks and go swimming in the sea. The spotlight of the evening consists of giant wooden or paper mâché figures which are displayed in the city´s main squares and burnt down on the night of Saint John.
During the festival of bonfires of Saint John, this Mediterranean city is filled with traditions, magic and lots of fun. Hundreds of bonfires help to create a unique atmosphere and tinge the sky with orange tones.
We tried to find a nice image of this special fiesta. Hope you agree that this celebration is worth experiencing in your lifetime. See you in musical and colorful night of Saint John!
By Greta Jankauskaite