El Dia de San Juan, Praying for Monsoons in Tucson

Ed Dia de San Juan Tucson FiestaIt’s June 24 — and that means today we pray for the monsoons. El Dia de San Juan is a holiday begun from legends. In 1540 on this day, Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez Coronado prayed for rain while gazing out into the parched Santa Cruz River. It rained after Coronado prayed, and thus a holiday was begun.

So with respect for tradition, I’ll head to Mercado Sin Agustin to pray to St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, to encourage our rains. The El Dia de San Juan fiesta which comes with the prayers is wonderful, with a traditional procession and the blessing of the altar, as well as the charreada (Mexican rodeo), mariachis and folklorico dancers. Charros and escaramuzas perform on horseback.

Fiesta starts at 5 PM and runs until 9 or 10 PM on the west  bank of the Santa Cruz River at West Congress Street. Come on down!

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