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Old 23rd June 2010, 07:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Cantabria, Spain
Posts: 41
Default Noche de San Juan

Tonight we celebrate "La Noche de San Juan" (St. John the Baptist Night). It's in reality some sort of summer solstice fest, but its original significance has been somewhat lost after centuries of Christianity (and Islam to a lesser degree).
It's specially popular in the coast, and possibly in the northern coast is nearer to pagan traditions.

Anyway some not-so-Catholic rites performed are:

-Bonfires: ranging from small ones to massive ones (is not mandatory but doing it in beaches is better, when available).

-When fire allows it jumping over it. Usually three times (sorry, I couldn't find a good video)

-When there is fire no more, running over the embers (only in some locations).

-When at a beach taking a bath until 9 waves hit you.

-In Galicia a "queimada" may be done (not specific to this fest, but usually done), this is a pot of "orujo" with coffe grains, sugar and some herbs, the the alcohol is burned while someone says a "conxuro" (spell). This is spectacular to see live if well performed at night.
(this is theatrical play, but the "conxuro" is like this word by word)(Don't worry if you don't understand the language, it's Galician, of course).

-In Cantabria we seek a 4 leaf clover to avoid the "Caballucos del Diablo" (Devil's little horses), or you risk bad luck for a year of one hits you.

-Sometimes bad things are written in a sheet of paper and burned in order to get rid of them.

-Some students may burn their last year notes.

And many more things I can't remember right now.

Many types of music may be heard but folk music is often played in northen Spain.

But, belive it or not, we don't do anything like this:
(not usually at least)

Have a nice night!

Last edited by PobrecitoHablador; 23rd June 2010 at 07:10 PM. Reason: photo too big
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Old 24th June 2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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Location: Durham / Mallorca
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Condolences to all the families of those involved last night at Castelldefels. A Noche de San Juan which has been marked by tragedy.
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