Today’s Holiday:Festa de São João do Porto (So Joo Festival)

Today’s Holiday:
Festa de São João do Porto (So Joo Festival)

June 23, the eve of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, is celebrated each year in Porto, Portugal, with a curious ritual. Festival-goers tap each other on the head with plastic hammers or leeks. Some say the gesture indicates romantic interest, others claim it brings good luck to the recipient. The custom can be traced to pagan times; indeed, the fireworks, music, all-night dancing, and colorful processions that feature on St. John’s Eve are more closely allied to pagan summer solstice rituals than religious observances. A large amount of wine is drunk, and grilled sardines are consumed. More…:


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