St. John’s Eve: Magic, Legends and Enchantment

St. John’s Eve: Magic, Legends and Enchantment,

Night of Saint John, is a date laden with magic and folklore where legends blend with reality. Discover ancient rituals, the bonfires that light up the night and the wishes that ascend to the heavens. Learn how this celebration unites people, kindles the imagination and connects us with the mystical.

Between Spells and Legends: The Night of Saint John Where Magic Comes to Life

This is a date abundant in folklore and fantasy, where numerous fantastical legends concur that it’s a time when the invisible doors to the other side of the mirror swing wide open.

Access is allowed to grottoes, enchanted castles and palaces. Moorish queens, princesses and captives held by spells, charms, or curses are freed from their prisons and bindings. Cuélebres (dragons) roar and devil’s steeds take flight.

Mysterious female beings venture out for an evening stroll bathed in the moonlight around their impregnable dwellings. Swarms of peculiar sprites emerge, taking refuge in the night’s darkness and the thickets.

Golden hens and chicks, flaunting their golden plumage, tempt the occasional greedy passerby to catch them. Young maidens dream and foresee the suitor who will take them as brides.

Poisonous plants lose their harmful properties, whereas beneficial ones multiply their virtues (it’s a good day for gathering medicinal plants in the field).

Treasures stir within the earth’s depths and the slabs hiding them expose parts for some fortunate mortal to cease being poor. The dew cures a hundred and one ailments and makes anyone who bathes in it more beautiful and youthful.

Ferns blossom at the stroke of midnight

In essence, the atmosphere becomes imbued with a supernatural breath that permeates every magical place on Earth and it is the opportune moment to be thrilled, be inspired and recount to our children, grandchildren, or friends all sorts of stories, anecdotes and jests about the Night of Saint John that we know.

This night, the door to the knowledge of the future and the magical dimensions of reality opens. It is the night when hidden graves burn, the Devil roams free and the fields are blessed by John the Baptist.

In the morning, at the crack of dawn, people wash their hair and face with holy water and start calling out, three times in succession:

“Saint John! Saint John! Grant me milcao (a potato and lard stew) and I will give you bread…”

The Traditions of the Night of Saint John

Meanings and Practices for Good Fortune and Fertility

The night before, two main events take place: the fire dance and the trials. Some of these trials include: if a young woman encounters a dog at dawn, it is said her husband will be as gluttonous as a dog throughout his life.

If after midnight she encounters a black cat, it’s bad luck for the future; but if the cat is of another color, it signifies happiness. It is believed that if one makes a cross on trees at midnight, they will bear twice the fruit. Also, if at midnight one looks at the moon and then at the fig tree, one can witness it blooming.

It’s said that the fig tree and the “manger” (fern) blossom this night. Whoever possesses one of these flowers will be very fortunate and he who sees mint blossom this night will also be fortunate, provided he keeps it a secret.

On the eve, plant a hydrangea flower in a jar with soil and water. Then, make a wish while putting faith in the baptism of Saint John.

It’s advisable to wash one’s hands with spring water to remain youthful and wash one’s hair to keep it beautiful. It’s believed that on this

night, the waters are blessed by John the Baptist. If it rains that night or the next day, it is said there will be an abundance of apples.

Before sunrise, it’s traditional to sprinkle trees with spring water so they yield abundant fruit throughout the year. To ensure a good harvest, throw a piece of candle on Saint John’s night. Additionally, it is said that to learn to play the guitar, one must sit under a fig tree during this night.

From Dawn to Night

How the Night of Saint John Unites Cultures with Rituals and Symbols

The night and dawn are dedicated to Saint John in an attempt to Christianize the numerous forces manifested on this magical day when traditional societies across Europe carry out various rituals of ancient origin and deep cultural significance.

The festivity is not exclusive to specific localities but spreads throughout Europe and Latin America, adopting diverse variants and customs.

Two elements preside over the celebration: a symbol of Christianity and a celestial body. On one hand, there is the Sun which, according to popular tradition, rises dancing on the morning of the 24th. On the other hand, Saint John is associated with the date, providing sanctity to the festivity, though not occupying a central place in the rituals.

The Night of Saint John

Bonfires, Witches and the Battle Against Evil in this Astral Celebration

With the Sun and Saint John as fundamental components of the celebration, during the night and dawn of Saint John, people use various symbolic instruments aiming to combat the different evils that may afflict human beings, their activities and their possessions throughout the year.

Being an astral transition date heralding various changes in nature, it equates to a rupture in the cosmic order conducive to the emergence of the underworld. This is why the Night of Saint John is known as a night of witches, entities capable of inflicting numerous harms upon human beings.

The Night of Saint John, known for its magical traditions, is characterized by the multitude of bonfires that illuminate the night. Citizens throw into the bonfire, before lighting it, small objects, spells, wishes and even academic notes, with the aim of warding off evil spirits.

The Flower of Water

An Ancient Ritual of Abundance and Healing at the Dawn of Summer

The tradition of adorning springs with branches and flowers is closely linked to prosperity, abundance and fertility.

According to tradition, at the dawn of the first day of summer, women would go to springs to collect the “flower of water”, hoping to find a partner, conceive children, or acquire healing powers. Upon dawn, as the women made their way to the spring, they sang in honor of the water’s flower to receive its blessings.

Enchanting and uplifting Halloween rituals

As per ancient myths and tales of our forefathers, during this evening, the natural order of things is temporarily overturned, and spirits are believed to reanimate bodies or stir up homes. Thus, it becomes imperative for us to safeguard ourselves diligently and maintain impeccable households… read more»

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