Sunday, 23 June 2013

St John's night / La noche de San Juan

Photo of a Life begins at 40 rose to tell you all about St John's night midsummer celebrations in Galicia, Spain
Totally unrelated photo of a cute flower from our garden: the Life begins at 40 rose
Growing up in Spain, the night of June 23rd marked the start of the summer holiday. School always finished mid-June and was quickly followed by the move to the beach house until September. The night of June 23rd, known as the night of St John (San Juan), was all about bonfires and eating grilled sardines on corn bread.

It was a night shrouded in mystery, paganism and the famous Galician superstition. It still is.

It was always the first of many late nights as kids. With Galicia falling on a different time zone to the rest of Spain but keeping the same time as EspaƱa, daylight lingers on late into the evening and one needs darkness to see the bats circling the swimming pool and spy the stars while lying on the grass with her father or even enjoy the most impressive summer storms over the Atlantic Ocean, lighting up the Cies Islands like huge powerful fireworks. Late nights were also perfect for bike riding in the dark, always circling the swimming pool, with the odd fall into the chlorinated water, bike included (never me).

As kids, summer meant freedom. 

The only problem always was that I would invariably wake up the next day covered with the first, but not last, insect bites of the year. Always the only one in my household that the little bug(gers) attacked.

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