St. John's Fire

Lighting the fire on the day of St. John (June 24), when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky, when the nights are the shortest and the days the longest, is a folklore tradition. The festival of Midsummer's Eve (St. John's Eve among Christians) has roots in ancient celebrations related to the summer solstice. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southward again. In the Middle Ages it was primarily an ecclesiastical festivity, but from the 16th century on the sources report it as a folk custom.

In Hiadeľ „St. John´s Fire", takes place on the weekend after St. John´s day or simply „Jan" is how this day is referred to in Slovak. That night, people gather around a big bonfire and celebrate the coming of summer.

Bonfire - pirate ship