Hi Team Flyer!!
Today we are talking about one of my favorite holidays! The longest day of the year meaning the shortest night of the year as well! And hello bonfires and good loving fun!!!
Let me tell you what it is about!
It happens every June 23rd to June 24th, landing the 24th as a national holiday, here in Spain.
Puerto Banus, Andalucia
Traditions, traditions: (original text from here)
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year – the day in which we can enjoy approximately 17 hours of daylight. Since this is an old tradition and life changes…. This year it’s on Monday, June 20. The sun will rise at 4.45am and sunset will happen at 10.34pm
Midsummer’s eve was believed to be a time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and when fairies were though to be at their most powerful.
Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired many festivals and midsummer celebrations involving bonfires, picnics, singing, watching the sun rise and Maypole dancing. Many towns and villages across Britain still mark the day.
Tenerife, Islas Canarias
One ritual was the lighting of fires, heralding the start of shorter days, although this doesn’t really happen anymore. The idea was that flames would keep the dark away.
Traditionally, this summer solstice period fell between the planting and harvesting of crops, leaving people who worked the land time to relax. This is why June became the traditional month for weddings.
The first (or only) full moon in June is called the ‘honey moon’ because many believed it was the best time to take honey from beehives.
La Coruña, Galicia
Party all night!
Of course I love this holiday, not only is it usually by the beach, it is related to fairies and light, it is all about Summer and celebrating the year…. What do I do?
Each year, as much as I can, I go to the beach. With bonfires, guitar playing, mixed drinks happening and tons of friends and music in the background. I love the idea of a big celebration at the beach, a huge blowout where you can mix and mingle with ease, where you can see tropical drinks, dance to rocking vibes, jump over the bonfires and have a nice warm bonfire to keep warm in the breeze of the night. And no work the next day? What is not to love?!
It is all about changes, the dark into the light, winter into summer, fire and water, the metal and physical balance of it all. This week I will be doing yoga and meditations by the beach and at night! Being one with myself and getting ready for what is coming up.
Let me hit you with some info on what goes on here too!
So welcome to the magical night of San Juan. San Juan is all about changes. It is about night and day; fire and water. Fire purifies and water recuperates, refreshes, and rejuvenates.
Bonfires are the theme of the night. Men and women, young people and children all spend time building these bonfires. According to tradition, if people jump over a bonfire three times on San Juan’s night, they will be cleansed and purified, and their problems burned away.
It is ritual that rules at San Juan. After midnight, for example, people wash their faces and feet three times in order to be granted three wishes and for a happy twelve months thereafter. Bathing at this time is also said to be beneficial for skin complaints. Traditionally, the Spanish did not visit the beach until this day in each year. The sight of hundreds and even thousands of people wandering into the water after midnight with the haze of bonfires everywhere can be close to awe inspiring.
(original text: here)
It is also a night full of Superstition. If you want to be lucky for the next 12 months you may want to:
- Jump over a bonfire.
- Burn a piece of paper with your lovers name on it.
- Burn something old and personal to leave behind bad spirits from the past and start a new phase.
- Swimming in the ocean after midnight purifies soul and body.
- Fountains and natural water resources become magic and have healing properties.
Every region in Spain has different local traditions, however all of them are related to fire and water.
Dancing and praying around bonfires, and in some areas burning rag man, which originally symbolized Judas Iscariot. Pagan and Religious tradition meet in this awesome celebration.
Other countries such as Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Perú, Bolívia and Cuba celebrate this date influenced by Spaniards, Portuguese and other European immigrants.
(Original text: here)
Barcelona: The biggest central gathering on the Nit de Sant Joan is on the beaches of Barcelona, which attract crowds of around 75.000 people. The day after the Nit de Sant Joan is a public holiday, so the party goes on until sunrise and all the clubs and bars in the city organise Sant Joan parties.
Watching the Sant Joan sunrise is an important part of the Nit de Sant Joan and a fine excuse for partying all night. Sunrise is around 06.15 on 24 June. The beaches in Barcelona will be closed at 06:00 in the morning of 24/6 for cleaning up. They say that this tradition of going to the beaches of Barcelona was started by foreigners living in Barcelona, who had no family to gather with on Sant Joan and therefore started going to the beaches. After all the new beaches in Barcelona that were made for the Olympics in 1992, the tradition grew and now many tourists also head for the beaches on Sant Joan.
Each barrio in Barcelona has its own small firework display along with local all-night bonfires fuelled by collections of old furniture! In the barrios you will usually find dancing and celebrations in the plazas, street parties, music and entertainment. Firecracker – “petardos” – shops and huts spring up all over Barcelona and are usually open 10 days before the Night of Sant Joan.
(Original text: Here)
Picture taken by me in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
Back to me!
I am extremely excited about this night, there is always so much to see and music to dance to, always such positive vibes and it feels great to say hello to summer too!
Today, more than motivational vibes, it was about this historic and crazy tradition. Tell me about your favorite from your neck of the woods!
Keep dancing, keep doing, spread the love,
The Always Believer
For more fun moments check these out!