International St. John’s Day is celebrated every June 24 around the world. It is a celebration of the birth of St. John the Baptist. Specific verses in the ‘Gospel of Luke’ suggest that St. John the Baptist was born six months earlier than Jesus Christ. In the Christian Church, St. John is revered as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He was a Jewish prophet who lived in the lower regions of the Jordan River, baptizing people in the river after they had confessed their sins. The traditional garb of prophets was St. John’s austere camel-hair garment.
History of International St. Johns Day
International St. John’s Day has been celebrated on June 24 since the 4th century. It was created by the Catholic Church to honor the birth of the forerunner of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist. The day reminds the Christian world of an iconic prophet, who, in the Gospel of Luke, is said to be born six months before the birth of Jesus Christ. Since the birth of Jesus Christ is believed to be on December 25, Christian historians judged that St. John was born on either June 24 or 25, based on the information from the ‘Book of Luke’ in the “Bible.” Celebrating this holiday in June means it is celebrated during midsummer — an annual period in which many other European holidays are celebrated. For this reason, the holiday is often integrated into other holidays and activities for celebrations that are generally indistinguishable.
St. John is so important in Christian history that several churches are devoted to honoring most major occurrences in his life, and in one case, even some occurrences after his death, as is seen in the celebration of the First and Second Finding of the Head of St. John the Baptist by some Orthodox Churches.
St. John the Baptist, who is dear to the Baptist Church, and also referred to as John the Immerser by Baptists and as Prophet Yahya in Islam, was born in the 1st century B.C. He was a traveling preacher who was popular around the Jordan River. According to Biblical reports, he and Jesus were relatives. He is considered a major religious figure in as many as five religions. In 30 A.D., he was imprisoned and later beheaded on the order of Herod Antipas, instigated by a request from Herod’s wife, whose marriage to the king was vehemently criticized by John.
International St. Johns Day timeline
St. John the Baptist is born six months before the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Catholic Church designates June 24 for celebrating St. John's Day.
Several churches celebrate the Vigil of St. John the Baptist, St. John's Eve, and the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist.
King Herod executes St. John.
Parish youths of Liber Memorandum of the Parish Church at Barnwell in the Nene Valley in England gather to sing songs and play games in celebration of the event.
The Premier Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of Ireland favor the celebration of St. John's Day.
International St. Johns Day FAQs
Is Saint John's Day a holiday?
International St. John’s Day is not a public holiday in nearly all nations. In fact, some people don’t even know about it.
Why is St. John's Eve celebrated?
It is celebrated to mark the coming of St. John’s Day, the next day. The eve falls on the solstice, popularly known as midsummer.
What did St. John do?
He baptized the Jews in the Jordan River, washing away their sins.
International St. Johns Day Activities
Read about the history of St. John
What better way is there to celebrate this day than to read up on the history of the religious figure who is the center of the day's celebration? Read and learn about this great prophet today.
Imbue his teachings and sterling character
We all know St. John was a great and honorable man. Celebrate this day by inculcating some of his teachings and life lessons into your life.
Organize other events
The day's celebration ties in with many other midsummer holidays. Why not make some fun events and integrate the celebration of the holidays into one another?
5 Facts About St. John That You Should Know
He’s recognized in many faiths
Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Baha'i Faith, and others recognize St. John the Baptist as a prophet.
A miracle child
St. John's mother, Elizabeth, was barren throughout most of her married life and only begot John when an angel revealed to Zachariah that he was going to be gifted a son.
Jesus described him as the greatest man
Jesus said in ‘Matthew 11:11,’ "Truly I tell you, among those born of women has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist."
He was loved by King Herod
Herod actually liked listening to St. John and only executed him at the request of his newly wedded wife.
A man with many holidays
There are more than five holidays celebrated in commemoration of a key event in St. John's life or death.
Why We Love International St. Johns Day
He teaches us a lot of good values
St. John was a shining example of a pious and humble man during his time. We love him for that and appreciate him for his many invaluable teachings.
It fosters courage
St. John teaches us to be courageous and steadfast in spelling out the truth to those that err, regardless of what seat of power they occupy.
It falls in midsummer
International St. John's Day falls during a period with lots of holidays around the world. This fact makes it even more worthy and enjoyable to celebrate.
International St. Johns Day dates