Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Jumping the bonfire on the night of San Juan

Hoguera de San Juan Saint John bonfire in Fuenlabrada (Madrid, Spain). 
PhotoAyuntamiento de Fuenlabrada | Some rights reserved

This year, once more, the Hogueras de San Juan (Bonfires of Saint John) - normally held on the Eve of San Juan, the night of 23 June - are prohibited in almost the whole island of Tenerife, to avoid the crowds that would otherwise form (here's an example of the usual crowds on the Playa Jardín on the Eve of San Juan in Puerto de la Cruz), not to mention any avoidable hospitalisations that must surely follow drunk people stumbling into a blaze. 

But what does it mean and what alternatives could you do at home?

Jumping over the bonfire symbolizes renewing energy after letting go of negativity that prevents progress. Some prefer to take less risk and jump over the waves on the shore. 

Another part of these rituals is burning a note, on which you write down the things you want to let go of and leave behind. For this, you don't really need a whole bonfire.

After jumping or dancing around the fire (or jumping the waves), submerge yourself in the sea, if it's nearby, or, failing that, your feet in a container of water and salt. It means rebirth.

This ritual should end with a prayer for humanity, with a wish for peace in the world, as well as an individual request for the rest of human beings, with the idea of ​​sharing the benefit that, according to these remote beliefs, is you will receive with these magical rites.