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The Night of San Juan in Valencia

Each city has developed its own way of celebrating the Night of San Juan, and Valencia has become one of the greatest regions to do so.

History



In pre-Christian times, the people of the city began to celebrate this event as a magic ritual to fight against evil spirits and to thank the sun to continue caring for the earth. When Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, pagan ritual also became Christianised as Zacarías, the father of Juan the Baptist, asked to light a bonfire on June 23rd to commemorate the birth of his son. Since then, in Valencia, just like other Christian countries, the Night of San Juan became noted for both pagans and Christians.




Traditions



For centuries, the Valencian tradition has been celebrating the Night of San Juan on the beaches of the city like Malvarrosa, while being prohibited in others.

The other most representative tradition is to celebrate Plantá on June 22nd: to prepare the monuments that are going to host the bonfires for San Juan. It must be said that some of them are large and complex buildings. Large pallet towers are built in order to create gigantic bonfires.
Valencia - campfire-984020_960_720.jpg

On the eve of San Juan, it is also a tradition to stay for lunch or dinner in areas close to the beach before the event begins. Also, on the occasion of this festivity, small recreational spaces are usually organised for family enjoyment. And, of course, during the Night of San Juan, Valencians do not forget the other great tradition: pyrotechnics, which means everyone makes great effort in decorating the night sky during the Night of San Juan with fireworks. 




The rituals of San Juan Night



The most popular ritual is to jump over the small bonfires to purify the evil spirits. Another form of purification (in this case Christian) is swimming in the sea, emulating renewal baptism.




The rest of the rituals can be divided into the different interests that people have. For those who wish for a year of wealth, health and work, it is recommended to perform the ritual of jumping over the bonfire and swimming in the sea seven times. To find or strengthen love; do the same ritual of swimming but as a couple and hand in hand, or light two red candles on that night. And to fulfill your wishes, plant a hydrangea the night before. Its flowering will be a sign of fulfillment.

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