Feast of St. John 2018 in Paris

Holiday
Jun 24, 2018
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In French pagan times, June 21 was a celebration of the summer solstice, with bonfires signifying purity and hope for the new season. During the reign of King Clovis, the first Catholic king of France, the festival fused with the religious remembrance... ... read more

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Paris Feast of St. John Overview

In French pagan times, June 21 was a celebration of the summer solstice, with bonfires signifying purity and hope for the new season. During the reign of King Clovis, the first Catholic king of France, the festival fused with the religious remembrance of Jean Baptiste’s (John the Baptist) birth on June 24.

Fast forward to present-day Paris and you’ll find the night sky flooded with fireworks on June 24, honoring both John the Baptist and the shortest night of the year. The spectacular Fête de la Saint Jean pyrotechnic display blasts off from the Ile Saint-Louis and is best seen along the Quai Saint-Bernard.

A few days earlier on June 21, the city explodes with live music in honor of Saint John’s feast and the summer solstice.  Professional and amateur musicians perform all genres of music along the streets of Paris for the Fête de la Musique (Festival of Music). The free concerts are filled with recognizable cover songs, with classics such as “Sweet Home Alabama” bathing several street corners.

Fête de la Musique has become so popular that June 21 is now regarded as World Music Day, with cities all over the globe spending the day. From pagan traditions to a worldwide musical holiday, the Feast of St. John in Paris is a tradition rich with history and liveliness. 

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