The Fete de la Saint-Jean is said to have been imported from neighbouring Catalonia in Spain, the 'Fires of St John' celebrates the arrival of mid-summer and is held on the night of the 23rd of June each year.
Each town and village in Provence will have something different to offer, but the general idea is for the locals to dress up in traditional costume and gather in the main square for music and dancing in the evening. bonfires are then lit and the party lasts well into the night.
Symbolically, the bonfires represent the fires that the pagans used to light to protect against evil spirits that may have been abroad on the longest day. The celebrations were incorporated into the Christian holidays and became associated with St Jean (John the Baptist).
Look out for what is happening in your local town, ask at your hotel or tourist office to find out more.
Dates for this event
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