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Home / 2000's / 20080628 Feu de Saint-Jean 11
An annual festival, now extinct in England but still popular in France. Named for the Nativity of John the Baptist, it is taken from a pre-Christian pagan festival of mid-Summer and indeed, that is pretty much what it is today.
- St. John's Fire
Bonfires in France tend to be well stocked with fireworks. Much more interesting than a boring Guy!
The Fête du Feu de Saint-Jean starts in the early evening and continues until well into the night with music and dancing.
Everyone, but everyone, dances the night away.
- Let the dancing commence
Dancing the night away.
- Eating on the Green
The annual Feu de Saint-Jean (St. John's Fire) is based on an old pagan celebration of Mid-Summer. Pretty much extinct in the UK, it's still extremely popular here in France - where fireworks are added to the fire! - Fortunately, the mediaeval custom of adding a cage of live cats has been discontinued.
- Bonfire with fireworks
The fire's finale - when fireworks finally light off.
- Dying down
For as long as the fire burns, the celebrations continue.
- Dancing around the fire
Dancing around the fire (before the fireworks take off)
- Evening al fresco meal
The evening starts with a sit-down meal (hey, this IS France - all food is eaten sitting down) - this year, it was ventreche (belly pork), andouilette (offal sausage), merguez (spicy sausage) or rich country sausage, all served with fries, cheese and bread.
Serving the food in Saint-Priest-les-Fougères.
- Pre-evening preparation
The fire, built and primed, ready for the evening.