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jueves, 23 de junio de 2016

MIDSUMMER'S EVE IN SPAIN

The traditional midsummer party in Spain is the celebration in honour of San Juan (St. John the Baptist) and takes place in the evening of June 23. It is common in many areas of the country. Parties are organised usually at beaches, where bonfires are lit and a set of firework displays usually take place. On the Mediterranean coast, especially in Catalonia and València, special meals like Coca de Sant Joan are also served on this occasion. In Alicante, since 1928, the bonfires of Saint John were developed into elaborate constructions inspired by the Fallas of Valencia.

Midsummer tradition is also especially strong in northern areas of the country, such as Galicia, where one can easily identify the rituals that reveal the pagan beliefs widespread throughout Europe in Neolithic times. These beliefs pivot on three basic ideas: the importance of medicinal plants, especially in relation to health, youth and beauty; the protective character of fire to ward men off evil spirits and witches and, finally, the purifying, miraculous effects of water.
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