According to tradition, on the evening of June the 23rd a basin of water filled with flowers, herbs and aromas is prepared and left outdoors all night, and the next morning (i.e. St. John’s Day) used to wash the face.
Now we are pretty close to the magical night of San Giovanni, between the 23rd and the 24th June.
Since ancient times, this moment has been linked to a series of customs and rites, both pagan and religious, which are still widespread today.
According to one of the various legends closely connected to the summer solstice – during this night, the gods let the new born pass through in the form of dew. It is believed that at this particular time of the year, flowers release a particular energy.
For this reason, the custom of preparing the Acqua di San Giovanni – water of St. John has spread from generation to generation, precisely to collect the dew of the Gods. This water, considered almost magical because it is able to attract luck, love and ward off calamities, is used in the morning of June 24 to wash one’s hands and face: a sort of purifying ritual.
To prepare it, aromatic herbs are used, such as mint and rosemary and hypericum flowers (plant with extraordinary beneficial properties, not surprisingly known as St. John’s wort), lavender, mugwort, but also poppies, roses or chamomile if available.