Sant Joan . Myth, fire and summer

For the modern society this night is known as the shortest night of the year. For our ancestors, dating back to over 8000 years old, losing their roots in time. From pagan’s origin, every Sant Joan’s night is full of symbolism and magic. Formerly it was believed that the sun was in love with the Earth and refused to leave. There was also the belief that this was a perfect night to ward off evil spirits and attract good ones, and to make spells of love and fertility. The word solstice comes from the Latin ” solis statio “, which can be literally translated as ” Sun stopped or detained .” Although its actual date is 21 June, Christianity moved to the eve of June 24, since according to the text was made ​​when a fire Zechariah to announce the birth of John the Baptist.


The Greeks called the solstices “doors”, being the ” door men” and the winter solstice (December 21) would be called “gate of the gods”.


In cultures like Egyptian , Mayan , Aztec or Tibetan , also had considerable importance of the solstices because they were experts on the stars to determine the best planning their planting, harvesting or riverbed, coming to dominate accurately and predict every type of celestial phenomena .


This feast is celebrated in many towns and in all its versions, revolves around the fire as a tribute to Sun or way to purify sins. It also has prominence water because it is believed that at the exact moment when the sun illuminates the dawn, water sources and streams are endowed with healing and protective qualities. Many people threw old clothes , papers and any memory that would be wiped off during the year.


Various festivals throughout Catalonia Sant Joan ( ” revetlles ” ) are held, but it is in Barcelona where, may be, you can live more intensely .


One option for everyone is to go to the beach and make fires , another is to attend the popular festivals of neighborhoods or see fire shows of the evils in the city center. All is seasoned with cava and coca of Sant Joan, who complete this magical tradition.



Happy day!