The early Catholics in Spain were brilliant at converting the pagan masses. Instead of imposing new religious rituals, they just renamed existing traditions. Suddenly, everyone was a practicing believer!
For example, the Day of San Juan (Saint John) just happens to fall on June 23. And to celebrate San Juan, people participate in cleansing rituals to celebrate rebirth. Images of water and fire figure strongly. You know, just like in solstice.
The beach in front of our house is full of bon fires tonight. Jumping over the fire three times will bring good luck. And scorch your runners. (Just ask Rogelio).
We received this phone call.
- Concerned mother-in-law: “Do you have your herbs soaking?”
- Me, ever unknowing daughter-in-law: “Huh?”
- Strongly religious/superstitious M.I.L: “You have to put seven aromatic herbs in a bucket of water and leave it outside overnight during solstice San Juan. In the morning you wash using the herb water. It wards off evil spirits.”
My in-laws take evil spirits very seriously.
So I threw some spearmint and rosemary in the kiddie pool.
Not sure if splashing in luke-warm mint water will protect us from evil,
but at least it will get things smelling sweeter.