Events  The St-Jean bonfires
21/06/201800:00 TV5MONDE
 


 
The Saint-John Festival is called Fête de la Saint-Jean in France, and actually refers to Saint-John the Baptist. This is a traditional festival that takes place in France and in a few other countries. It is celebrated every year on June 24th, shortly after the summer solstice (June 21st). 

 
 



 
The summer solstice has always meant an important and happy change in people life. This is true especially in rural areas where life is modeled on the rhythm of the seasons and the weather.
A long time ago, it was celebrated as a benediction for the sun and thus to protect the harvests to come. It was a way to welcome the energy, light and fertility brought by the summer, through tall bonfires built by inhabitants:  “les feux de la Saint-Jean”.


 

 


Rituals began to appear in many regions and people started to symbolize the sunlight through those giant fires. 
Nowadays, giant bonfires are still built by citizens and lighten at the sunset. Regional dances are organized, as well as regional music. It’s a big gathering in every village and city. 
 


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As a tradition, people dance or turn around the bonfire several times, this will ensure find their soul mate, even get married before the end of the year.
Another tradition is for people to jump over the bonfire if they want to bring good luck in love. 


 



 
When French colonists arrived to the New France, they implemented the Saint-John Festival with them. This will explain why June 24th is the National Day in Quebec, Canada. 

 
 
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