Water of San Giovanni (all you need to know)

There is an ancient tradition linked to the feast of San Giovanni. The night between 23 and 24 June has always been considered a magical night, during which propitiatory and purifying rites are held. Basically, magic is related to the summer solstice.

Tradition has it that, during this magical night, the water of San Giovanni is prepared which, according to legends, has healing and beneficial properties, capable of bringing love, health and luck.

Let’s get to know better the ancient tradition behind this ritual and try to understand how this precious water is prepared and used.

The water of San Giovanni: what it is

The water of San Giovanni is a water in which, on the evening of June 23, corollas of wild herbs and flowers are placed.

You leave it outside all night in order to enjoy the benefits of the dew, and the next morning, it is ready to be used to wash your face, eyes and body. Tradition has it, in fact, that during the night, this water has acquired extraordinary powers and therefore will protect against diseases, misfortunes and envy.

The night between 23 and 24 June has always been considered a magical night. This is why propitiatory and purifying rites are celebrated. Magic is fundamentally linked to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the time when nature reaches its peak.

However, despite the strong revival, it is also good to pay attention to unfortunate events such as drought, severe storms, plant diseases… All unforeseen events that could ruin the crops.

Precisely to ward off adversity, propitiatory bonfires are made that represent the sun and water is prepared, in fact, to collect the dew which, instead, symbolizes the moon. In fact, it has always been believed that the water of San Giovanni, thanks to the incredible power of the flowers, is able to protect crops and ward off calamities.

And, even, in a broad sense, bring luck and prosperity.

St. John’s water: preparation

As already mentioned, the water of San Giovanni is prepared to exploit the strength and power of plants and flowers soaked in the dew of the Gods.

The process is really very simple. Let’s see it together. To prepare the water of San Giovanni you need to collect a mixed salad of wild herbs and flowers.

There is no precise rule in the choice of flowers and herbs. Generally, we let ourselves be inspired by our instincts by choosing among the species available in the territory in which we live.

Usually, in this period, hypericum, lavender, mugwort, mallowmintsage and rosemary are easily found. In addition, cornflowerrosepoppy and chamomile can also be found.

The herbs should be collected after sunset and then placed in a basin full of water, to be left outside for the whole night, so that they can absorb the morning dew. The herbs, absorbing the dew, will acquire magical properties from it.

The night of San Giovanni is therefore full of esoteric and religious symbols. Precisely for this reason, many call it “witches night”.

What is St. John’s water used for?

On the morning of June 24, the water where the flowers and herbs were left is used to wash hands and face. It is a propitiatory and purifying ritual which – it is said – brings love, health and luck.

Obviously, it is a tradition and a concentrate of popular beliefs and must be taken with a grain of salt.

What flowers for St. John’s water

Generally, spontaneous herbs must be used based on the blooms present in their territory. However, in the water of San Giovanni, the following cannot be missing:

  • hypericum, considered scacciadiavoli
  • absinthe, a plant linked to Diana, protector of women’s good health
  • wild fennel to protect against deception
  • yarrow to preserve from wounds
  • oats, which brings abundance
  • valerian, for its calming and relaxing effect
  • water fern, which blooms only on this night, and lucky are those who can see its flower
  • laurel that gives strength
  • lemon balm the herb of happiness

And again:

  • helichrysum
  • elder
  • lavender
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • rose
  • sage
  • calendula
  • rue

In addition to all of these just listed, all the other herbs not mentioned which have recognized therapeutic properties are also fine.

How to preserve the water of San Giovanni

It is not preserved. If he advances, he gives himself to friends.

What should I do on St John’s night?

It is not just one of the many propitiatory rites to be performed on this magical night. The herbs are collected, the fires are made and the nocino is prepared.

According to another tradition, in fact, the unripe walnuts, suitable for making the delicious liqueur, must be harvested on June 23.

And, possibly, in odd numbers (usually 33 for every liter of alcohol). Furthermore, the herbs harvested during the Summer Solstice are excellent for drying and used for herbal teas or oleolites. The particular dew that falls on this night strengthens their properties.

Water of St. John: prayer

Tradition has it that a prayer is recited while collecting the herbs and before washing at least the face with this water, on the morning of the party.

Superstition or superstition, often, the meaning of certain popular traditions lies in the heart (and in the faith) of those who still carry them out.

Schuessler SaltAustralian Flower Essences and Remedies

Leave a Comment