Who locked up Johannes the Taeufer?

"Sommerhans" ยท John the Baptist

created on 06/23/2003 at 6:00 p.m.
updated on December 3rd, 2020 at 11:22 am | x read
(kh) In addition to Jesus and Mary, only one saint celebrates his birthday and not the day of his death as usual, namely John the Baptist. However, there is also a day of remembrance to commemorate his beheading (August 29), and the Orthodox Church celebrates a third feast of St. John: the day of his conception nine months before the feast of his birth on September 23. This accumulation of days of remembrance alone is an indication of the veneration and popularity of the "Sommerhans" (in contrast to the "Winterhans", the apostle and evangelist Johannes, whose feast is celebrated on December 27th).
John appears as a penitential preacher in the Jordan steppe around 27/28 AD, gathers disciples around him, some of whom later join Jesus, impresses his fellow men with his life full of privation and gives the baptism of penance at the Jordan, which Jesus also receives. After John criticizes Herod Antipas' way of life, he is first imprisoned and later beheaded. The veneration of the Baptist, whom Jesus called "the greatest born of a woman", goes back to the early days of the Church.

The popularity of the saint is certainly also related to the date of his festival. June 24th is the day of the summer solstice. The best-known custom of St. John's Night is the organization of solstice fires, which are certainly of pagan origin, whereby the fire in the sense of the Christian faith was later interpreted as a symbol for the sun and for Christ, because after the sun has now reached its highest point and the days becoming shorter, the Christians also related this natural phenomenon to the statement of John: "He (Christ) has to grow, but I have to decrease."

Some natural phenomena and natural products were also named after Johannes: locust worms, currants, carob or St. John's wort. In some places, on this day, St. John's wreaths are made from seven or nine kinds of herbs, which are said to contain, for example, bear moss, mugwort, oak leaves, bracken, St. John's wort, poppies, cornflowers, lilies, delphiniums or roses and are hung over the front door or window. You should protect your house and yard from ghosts and demons.

Johannes has become the patron saint of over twenty professions, with patronage valid for industries as diverse as cinema owners or chimney sweepers, farmers and architects. He is also an animal patron and supporter of the drinkers welfare. The farmer's rules say that St. John's Day is mostly about ushering in a rainy season, but this does not fit the farmers' work program at all. You express this in the following calendar saying: Before Johannes asks for rain, afterwards he comes inconveniently.

Konrad Held