Sex, fire and love in Saint John Eve

Sex, fire and love in Saint John Eve
Isabel del Rio

Sex, fire and love in Saint John Eve. Saint John Eve (June 23) is coming and great celebrations have been preparing all around the Mediterranean Sea and in other countries, from Ireland to Puerto Rico or even Poland.


Knossos (Crete) fresco

Saint John Eve coincides with the June solstice or Midsummer. The Christian holy day was fixed at June 24, but festivities are celebrated the night before, on St John Eve.

The Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:36, 56–57) says that John the Baptist (Jesus Christ cousin and one of the most important figures in the Gospels) was born about six months before Jesus, this is one of the reasons why the feast of Saint John was fixed on June 24, six months before Christmas.

But of course, there are other reasons based on ancient traditions, Neolithic traditions of the Mediterranean Sea and Celtic lands in relationship with the White Goddess.

Robert Graves (The White Goddess) or George Frazer (The Golden Bough) essays offer a deep study of the old festivities the night of Midsummer.

This night marked the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. The old king had to face the new applicants every nine years (lunar calendar). It was a death struggle and the winner would be the future king next nine years. But also, the lucky man who got the favors of the High Priestess of the Temple of the White Goddess. Then, the powerful Queen.

It was a sanguinary ceremony of death that today, we see with horror. Over time, they also. And the sacrifice of the old king was replaced by the death of a bull (this is the origin of bullfights).

Anyway, death and live walk together. While the old king (or bull) was dying, people were celebrating the new year. Bonfires, dancing, too much wine and sex. The clan of the bear, the wolf, the deer … all sought to the best of virgins. And old heroes were engendered that night. From Achilles to Alexander and of course, Saint John the Baptist too.


Knossos (Crete) fresco

Today, great celebrations continue in different places and great bonfires burn full of old souvenirs (furniture, clothes … all that no longer serves). People are saying hello to a new time: summer.

They still drink, dance and sing. They still fall in love. They still glorify sex.

Maybe another great hero will be engendered this year. Maybe in Alicante, Menorca or… it’s up to you.

Nice day, Yareah friends.

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