Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Forgetting old flames...with flames?

It appears that I have arrived in Spain 1 day too late - I missed the exciting "Noche de San Juan" (the night of June 23rd into the 24th) where towns and cities all over Spain celebrate the summer solstice by lighting bonfires and burning things that they want to get rid of.  In a sense, the festival is about purifying oneself to destroy all things bad.  People can burn old classwork, photos of ex-lovers, etc. To seal the deal, you need to jump over the fire 3 times and then your past is wiped clean (if only it were that simple?).  Oh, and water helps to purify things as well.  The festival is most popular in Alicante and Galicia (con las meigas = witches) but also all over, especially on the coasts. It also exists in lots of other Spanish-speaking countries around the world. 

There are also lots of legends associated with this magical night.  Read about some of them here: Legends of San Juan (in Spanish only)

Here are some photos of the festivities:

So what do you think?  What things do you want to purify this summer?

Photo credits:

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