12 Strangely Wonderful Summer Solstice Celebrations Around the World

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Feliciano Guimaraes

From bonfires to floral crowns, there’s no wrong way to celebrate the start of summer.

São João Festival in Porto, Portugal

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Thousands gather in the center of Porto to celebrate the nativity of Saint John the Baptist and midsummer via a street festival of concerts, car rallies, dance parties, and endless food and drink. Come midnight, partygoers gather along the Douro River for a spectacular fireworks display to honor the sun. However, of all the ancient pagan courtship rituals, the origin of Portugal’s most infamous tradition—the hitting of plastic hammers (or garlic flowers) over each other’s heads—remains unknown.

12 Strangely Wonderful Summer Solstice Celebrations Around the World

São João Festival in Porto, Portugal

Thousands gather in the center of Porto to celebrate the nativity of Saint John the Baptist and midsummer via a street festival of concerts, car rallies, dance parties, and endless food and drink. Come midnight, partygoers gather along the Douro River for a spectacular fireworks display to honor the sun. However, of all the ancient pagan courtship rituals, the origin of Portugal’s most infamous tradition—the hitting of plastic hammers (or garlic flowers) over each other’s heads—remains unknown.

Feliciano Guimaraes
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