St John's Eve Date in the current year: June 23, 2016

St John's Eve The evening of June 23 is known as St John's Eve in some countries. It is the eve of celebration before the feast of Saint John the Baptist. The holiday is also strongly connected with Midsummer, the celebration of the summer solstice.

Before the beginning of the Christian era, people lit bonfires on Midsummer's Eve to protect themselves from the evil spirits. As Christianity began to spread, Midsummer transformed into St John's Dy, but some of the pagan traditions, including bonfire lighting, were preserved.

St John's Day falls on July 24, but celebrations traditionally begin in the evening of July 23 which is referred to as St John's Eve. They last throughout the entire night and continue on the next day. St John's Eve is celebrated in many countries, though mostly in rural areas. People light bonfires, dance and sing. Some cities and towns even hold official celebrations with parades, concerts, fairs and fireworks.

In ancient times, women used to collect several species of plants on Midsummer's Eve. They commonly included rue, fennel, rosemary, mallows, lemon verbena, laburnum, elder, and foxgloves. Hypericum perforatum, also known as St John's wort, is also strongly associated with this holiday.

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St John's Eve, St John's Day, Midsummer, Midsummer's Eve. Saint John the Baptist