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St. John’s Day Celebrated in Many Parts of the World

St. John’s Day is a religious holiday celebrated around the world.

St. John’s Day: June 24

St. John’s Day is a religious holiday celebrated around the world.

St. John’s Day (sometimes called the Feast of St. John) is celebrated on June 24 every year. The Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and some Protestant Churches commemorate the nativity of St. John on this day. John the Baptist is seen as a major religious figure who led the movement for Baptism near the Jordan River.

History of St. John’s Day

St. John was born to Zechariah and Elizabeth. Zechariah was a Jewish priest, and he and Elizabeth were childless. Both were beyond child-bearing age, but then a miracle happened. Gabriel, the Archangel appeared to him and told him that his wife Elizabeth would bear a child, and when the child was born, they were to name him John. It was when Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John that the Virgin Mary conceived Jesus Christ. Elizabeth, Mother Mary’s cousin, was informed of the happy news, causing the child in Elizabeth’s womb to “leap” for joy. Christians consider this St. John the Baptist’s first act of Prophecy.

St. John’s Day is one of the oldest festivals celebrated by Christians. It is celebrated six months before Christmas and is one of the principle festivals of the Christian religion. Like Christmas, this day is marked with three masses; first a vigil, second a dawn mass, and finally another at midday.

The day on which St. John the Baptist was born is also celebrated as the midsummer festival in many countries. Midsummer is the period centered on the summer solstice. Summer solstice is the time when the day is longest in the northern hemisphere and shortest in the southern hemisphere. Originally a pagan festival, celebrations for the midsummer festival date back to the pre-Christian era.

St. John’s Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

St. John’s Day is celebrated as a public holiday in some countries with customs varying from location to location. Typical customs may include the gathering of the perennial herb St. John’s Wort for medicinal, religious, or spiritual use. The collection of flowers for floral wreaths is popular. The wreaths are dried and hung in the house all year until the next St. John’s Day.

Fires are still important to many commemorators, used to represent Christ’s one brilliant light. While communal bonfires were traditional, many resort to small fires in the home that burn past midnight.

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