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Johannisnacht in MainzMainz, Germany, celebrates Johannisnacht, or St. John’s Night, in a huge way on Saturday. Celebrations take over the city and stretch from Friday to Monday, and events are free.

Traditional events include the dunking of the printers apprentices (an ancient initiation rite), a book market and an artists market on the banks of the Rhine. The riverbanks are the site of carnival rides for young and old.

On Sunday, take part in the eight-kilometer Three-Bridge Run beginning at 10 a.m., or enjoy watching a regatta on the river. Through the extended weekend, six stages offer live music, cabaret performances and shows for children. Fireworks at 10:30 p.m. Monday end the festivities.

Alps on FireIt’s a great time of year to be in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, when the St. John’s bonfires will glow from neighboring mountaintops. Garmisch isn’t the only Alpine community that sets the hills alight; also witness the phenomenon in Grainau, where the Waxensteinkamm will be transformed into a twinkling chain of lights.

Austria’s Zugspitz Arena is another area that stages a spectacle around the summer solstice. Also on Saturday, the valley around Ehrwald, Lermoos and Biberwier will be illuminated by thousands of fires depicting crosses, hearts, deer and other figures from the Bible and mythology.


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