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Feast of San Juan

Updated on July 23, 2016

Feast of San Juan

Feast of San Juan

Is celebrated in many points of Europe, but is especially rooted in Spain, Portugal (fogueiras of São João), Norway (Jonsok), Denmark (Sankthans), Sweden (midsummer), Finland (Juhannus), Estonia (Jaanipaev) and United Kingdom (Midsummer). The Christian feast of San Juan is on June 24, six months before the birth of Jesus, which is December 24. These six months are the difference that the Gospels show betweenone and another birth. However, three days apart from both dates with both solstices makes not be reasonable to assign this event to the Solstice, and scholars are inclined to the fact that on December 24, birth of Jesus, is associated more reasonably to the celebration Jewish of the Hanukkah or dedication of the temple (Jesus was thenew temple for Christians). According to this reasoning, the feast of San Juan wouldnot have nothing to do with the pagan celebration of the summer solstice. A difference of 3 days is too much scope for the astronomical knowledge at any time we deem. In Latin America, in the northeast of Argentina, Brazil (has Festas Juninas), Bolivia,Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, the night of San Juan isalso associated with age-old traditions and Spanish legends such as the legend of the enchanted.
In many places, there is no doubt that the current celebrations have a direct connection with the ancient celebrations linked to the summer solstice, influenced by ritespre-Christians or simply linked to the cycles of nature. However, in other places (forexample, Spain and Portugal) the existence of a link between the celebrations of theSolstice of summer (in the northern hemisphere) that takes place June 20-21 and the celebrations of the day of San Juan (June 24) vary depending on dates, the discontinuity in the celebration, traditions and customs, etc. Despite this, there are common elements, as the realization of bonfires in the streets and squares of the towns where family and friends gather.
The linking of the rites linked to the summer solstice with other popular and fairly widespread celebration of the month of June, "festivals of San Pedro" (June 29), is even less clear.


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