The night of Saint John is full of rituals and magic. This Eve is celebrated between the 23rd and 24th of June of each year. It is a pagan festival that commemorates the longest day of the year and the arrival of summer.
The night of Saint John is celebrated with bonfires. Fire is a purifier of souls, so it is common to jump the bonfire, burn the bad energies, or dance in a circle around the fire with 7 rounds of fire. These bonfires are set up to drive away bad omens.
The Eve of Saint John is a night full of folklore and fantasy. It is believed that it is a period when the invisible doors on the other side of the mirror are opened wide to permit access to enchanted caves, castles and palaces.
This night opens the door that introduces us to the knowledge of the future and the magical dimensions of reality. It is the night that the Devil walks loose and the fields are blessed by John the Baptist. In the morning, very early people wash their hair and face with the blessed waters and start calling for three consecutive times:
Saint John!, Saint John ! Give me potato stew with butter and I’ll give you bread …
On Saint John’s Eve, the treasures are released from the bowels of the Earth and the slabs that hide them expose part of it so that some poor mortal cease to be poor. The dew heals a hundred and one diseases and also makes a person more beautiful and younger. Ferns bloom at twelve strokes and poisonous plants lose their damaging property. What a great magical night it is.
Traditionally, on the night of Saint John, women collect several species of plants and these vary from area to area. Some of the plants include fennel, rue, rosemary, lemon verbena, mallows, laburnum, foxgloves and elderflowers. It is customary to gather the St. John Wort herb which is hung over the doors, and windows to keep witches and evil spirits away.
Examples of Rituals performed on the Eve of Saint John
- To attract good luck, light a fire and jump seven times over it. Always be careful so that you will not get burnt by the flames.
- Light a white candle, then make a wish and let the candle slowly burn out. A white candle means harmony and concentration. This candle helps to purify the environment and protect us from negative energies, therefore, they are linked to our well-being.
- Throwing a fruit, a coin and a flower into the sea with your back will grant you health, money and love.
- To eliminate all negative energies, you must bathe at midnight on the beach.
- According to the old Andalusian beliefs, if you wash your face with seawater at dawn, it will help you to be more beautiful and healthier for the rest of the year. Also, on that night you should not look in the mirror to avoid breaking the spell.
- Burning something old in the fire or a paper with your desires written on it will make them become a reality.
- If you pour ink on a paper and fold it, on the morning of the 24th you must open it and interpret the drawing about your future.
- Legend has it that if you stand under a fig tree on Saint John night, you will learn to play the guitar immediately. Some say it’s because the guitar and the fig tree are linked to the devil who teaches you how to play it.
- If you light two red candles on this night, you will find love.
- To know if you’re going to marry your current partner, put two needles in a bowl of water and if they come together the answer is yes.
- If a couple who has fertility problems should jump seven waves together, she will easily become pregnant.
Other Rituals On Eve of Saint John
Predicting the Future Using Potatoes:
On the night of Saint John, before midnight, you have to throw three potatoes under the bed, one unpeeled, another peeled in half and another fully peeled.
When the clock strikes at 00.00 am, without looking, you have to take out one of the potatoes. If you remove the peeled potato, you will have many problems, while the one that is half-peeled indicates that things will not go well. Finally, the potato that is unpeeled means success.
Ritual to know the name of your future partner:
It is believed that it is possible to know the name of your future partner. Leave three papers under the pillow, which should have the names of the people that interest you. The next day, without looking, you have to take out one of the papers and the one that comes out will be your possible partner.