Have you ever heard of “San Juan” or Saint John’s Eve? It is a festival of pagan origin that is celebrated on June 23: it is the eve of the day of San Juan Bautista, in which are often lit bonfires or fires. The origin of this custom is associated with celebrations celebrating the arrival of the summer solstice, June 21 in the northern hemisphere, whose main ritual is to light a bonfire. The purpose of this rite was to “give more strength to the sun”, which from those days was becoming “weak” – the days are getting shorter until the winter solstice. Symbolically, the fire also has a “purifying” function in the people who contemplated it. It is not only celebrated in Spain but also in many parts of Europe, such as Portugal (Jonsok), Denmark (Sankthans), Sweden (Midsommar), Finland (Juhannus), Estonia (Jaanipäev) and Kingdom United Kingdom (Midsummer). Hostal fontanella offers you the best rooms to enjoy this holiday in one of the best cities in the world: Barcelona.
In many places there is no doubt that the present celebrations have a direct connection with the celebrations of antiquity linked to the summer solstice, influenced by pre-Christian rites or simply linked to the cycles of nature. However, in other places (eg Spain and Portugal) the existence of a link between the summer solstice celebrations (in the northern hemisphere) that takes place on 20-21 June and the celebrations of St. John’s Day ( June 24) vary according to dates, discontinuity in the celebration, traditions and customs, etc. In spite of this, there are common elements, such as the making of bonfires in the streets and squares of towns where family and friends meet.