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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

San Juan

The feast of San Juan (St. John the Baptist) is June 24th.

Many people light bonfires on St John's Eve. In the days before municipal rubbish collection, it was a practical way of having a clear out. But in Puntallana, there is a long-held folk belief that the bonfires keep away witches. Jumping over the fire is supposed to protect you from disease and the Evil Eye. It's also a great night for fortune telling, using earth, air, fire and water.

I'm sure hte people celebrating would insist that this is a Catholic festival, and nothing at all to do with the Wiccan Midsummer celebrations, which also feature bonfires.

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