A little bit of sun and suddenly everyone thinks it’s already summer – only to be struck by more of those freezing arctic winds and driving snow. Well at least we have St.Patrick’s Day to look forward to tomorrow, and with that in mind, we thought we’d look at some of the patron saints from your favourite holiday destinations and look at some of the amazing festivities that will go ahead this summer.
Family Holiday Feast
The patron saint of Cyprus is St.Barnabas and he is celebrated with a great feast on the 11th June. The celebration is fitting because Cypriot food happens to be some of the best in the Mediterranean. Succulent meat dishes are prepared with onions, tomatoes and fragrant herbs and usually prepared over a barbecue style grill.
As Cyprus is an island, there’s also an abundance of fresh seafood. There’s nothing better than some light, crispy calamari to accompany a chilled glass of wine at sunset. Cyprus has no shortage of enchanting churches and historical architecture too. There’s an amazing range of places to visit and with glorious beaches boasting over 300 hours of sunshine a year, it’s not hard to see why so many travellers head back to Cyprus time and time again.
Greece – The Land of Plenty
There are countless charming attractions in Greece besides the fantastic weather and breath-taking bright landscapes. The stunning ruins dotted all across the islands are enough to transport you back to another time. It seems that the number of incredible holiday destinations in Greece is matched by the number of patron saints.
Along with festivities for St.Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos), Andrew the Apostle (Andreas) and Paul the Apostle (Paulos), there are celebrations that can last for up to three days on April 23rd when the Greeks celebrate St.George’s Day (Aghios Yeorghios) now that’s letting your hair down!
No one does festivals like the Spanish. If you thought running with the bulls in Pamplona was crazy, you won’t believe what they do to celebrate St. Anthony (San Antonio), the patron saint of animals – horse riding through fire!
On the 13th of June as part of the Luminarias festival, rave riders mount up and jump through huge flames to the sound of drumming and Spanish bagpipes. The smoke is supposed to purify the animals and protect them for the years ahead. After midnight, the festivities turn to bustling barbeques where attendees can gobble up delicious black pudding and some of the best chorizo sausage in Spain.
Watersports in Mexico
Mexico is amazing for watersports. Beginners and experts alike can try their hand at waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and scuba diving. You can even swim with dolphins. However, on June 24th, watersports takes on a very different meaning for St. John the Baptist Day (Fiesta de San Juan Bautista). It’s a major holiday in Mexico with huge fairs springing up all across the country. As St.John is associated with water, there are lots of practical jokes that end up with someone getting dunked- it’s like those old water fights on the grass in summer!