Posted in Christian Festivals, Festivals in January, and Festivals in June on 20. Jun, 2009. St John the Baptist was Jesus Christ’s cousin. He was born on June 24 as the first son of the Jewish priest St. Zechariah and Elizabeth. St John’s birth was a miraculous event.

The celebration of St John’s nativity is one of the oldest in the Christian religion. The Church observed this day as the primary festival subsequent to Christmas and Easter. According to the Gospel of Luke, when Elizabeth was six months pregnant with St John, the Archangel Gabriel came to Mary and gave her the good news that she would conceive Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of Luke narrates the first act of prophecy by St John the Baptist as his motion in his mother Elizabeth’s womb after listening about Mary’s conception once she came to greet Elizabeth on her pregnancy.

The nativity is celebrated depending upon the customs and rituals of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. In Western Christianity an eminent liturgical feast day is traditional to commemorate the occasion.

In Eastern Christianity, St John is remembered as ‘John the forerunner’ and the feast is supplemented by all-night vigil. St John is known as a ‘forerunner’ because he was born just before Jesus in order to pave the way for his arrival on earth.

The Orthodox Church observes the day on June 24th while the Armenian Apostolic Church memorializes the day on January 15th each year. Saint John’s fires are lighted on the mountains and hilltops all over Europe on the eve of the feast. As it is on the first day of the summer, it is considered to be one of the great festivals of the year.

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