Performing a ritual on the night of San Juan can be a great idea. The night of 23 to 24 June is considered among the most magical, among other factors, because in this early morning there have been numerous ceremonies for thousands of years. In this 2022, after the restrictions of previous years motivated by coronavirus, the classic program of the festival of San Juan is resumed and thousands of people will gather around a fire throughout the country.
Water and fire are the protagonists in the rituals of the night of San Juan. In fact, in many places tradition says that this is the shortest night of the year (although it really occurs two days earlier, coinciding with the summer solstice, which in this 2022 is June 21) and that, therefore, it is a special day full of magic, perfect for bringing good luck into our lives. Among the most outstanding San Juan rituals we find the following:
- Jump the bonfire. It is the ritual of the night of San Juan that is most repeated. The most widespread version indicates that you have to jump over fire seven times but in some places it is said that nine or even thirteen. The number must always be odd.
- Bathing in the sea and jumping waves. The lucky ones who spend the night of San Juan near the sea or the ocean must get into the salt water to purify themselves. There’s a tradition that you have to jump seven or nine waves backwards at midnight on June 24.
- Burn your desires in the fire. This ritual of the night of San Juan consists of writing the wishes of the future on a sheet of paper and burning them at the stake so that they are fulfilled.
- Wash your face. Depending on the area, this tradition varies. In Andalusia it is usually done just when it is midnight and with sea water while in Galicia it should be done first thing on the 24th with water left out all night with herbs known as San Juan.
- Put three potatoes under the pillow. A ritual of the night of San Juan consists of putting three potatoes under the pillow: one peeled, one with marks and one whole. In the morning, without looking, you should take one. The peel attracts bad luck, the marked potato indicates a future equal between good and bad moments while the potato with skin is an omen that something good is going to happen.
- Make a cross on a tree. At midnight from 23 to 24 June a cross must be marked on the trunk of a tree to fulfill the promises that have been made, both loving and otherwise.
- Attract love with two red candles. One of the most traditional San Juan rituals consists of lighting two red candles in the room, writing the name of the loved one on a paper and storing it under the pillow with the consumed wax of the candles to get your love.