Bonfires of Saint John and Corpus Christi

This year, the Catholic observances of Saint John's Day and Corpus Christi nearly overlapped, and festivals and solemn gatherings took place all over the world. The feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the physical body of Jesus Christ, and the Bonfires of Saint John (San Juan) celebrate John the Baptist. The festivals are observed in varying ways from country to country, reflecting older native traditions that have been combined with newer Catholic observances. From a firehose baptism in the Philippines to devils dancing in Panama to a carpet of flowers in Italy, here are some of the ways people observed these two festivals this year.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Gennady Teplitskiy / Shutterstock

    2017: The Year in Volcanic Activity

    Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava.

  • David Swindler / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

    Winners of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

    Winning images and honorable mentions from the four categories: Wildlife, Landscapes, Aerials, and Underwater.

  • Denis Balibouse / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 12/2–12/10

    California wildfires, the Sankta Lucia Festival of Light in England, a snowy football game in New York, Glasgow's annual Santa Dash, and much more.

  • Susana Vera / Reuters

    Hopeful Images From 2017

    After another year of news stories that produced photos which can often be difficult or disturbing to view, I’ve made it a tradition to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year.

Join the Discussion