Action Alert!

Catholic Activity: Johannesfeuer



Prep Time



• • •



For Ages



Activity Types (1)

Linked Activities (0)

Files (0)

Linked Recipes (0)

Linked Prayers (0)


Feasts (3)

Seasons (0)

As far back as the eighth century bonfires were being lit in honor of the precursor of Christ—the Johannesfeuer — as a special solemnity.


In the old world, the young people of the villages and towns take kindling wood up the mountains or outside of town to some beautiful spot on a river bank. Before it is lit a few words point out the significance of this fire at the height of the year, at the beginning of summer when the nights are shortest; and the symbolism of fire and light in relation to that radiant figure, the Baptist. "He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light" (John 5:35). When the flames are leaping up, everybody present joins in singing one of the old songs of the occasion. When the fire is burning low, everyone leaps over it — boys and girls holding hands and leaping by twos. Then they settle down around the fire for the fire-watch until the last spark has died out.

Activity Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955