The Feast of Saint John the Baptist is one of two celebrations that are commemorated on the birthday of a Saint –the second being the birth date of the Virgin Mary– instead of the day of death. The birth date of St. John the Baptist is assumed to be six months prior to the birth date of Jesus; falling on the 24th of June, and is celebrated annually accordingly. Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches also commemorate the death of St. John on the 29th of August.
Many European countries used to observe the Feast of Saint John the Baptist; for it coincides with old pagan holidays, which celebrated the summer solstice. Nonetheless, the holiday is still popular and widely observed as a religious feast in sundry countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway, amongst others.