The albumen of St. John: a curious Italian tradition

John the Baptist is the most depicted saint in art of all centuries. His night has always been considered magical and prodigious, probably because it immediately follows the summer solstice (June 22), when the sun reaches its peak on the horizon and gives strength and vigor to all creatures. The night of St. John is also called the second New Year, very similar to the first for the magical conception and the rituals connected to it, first of all the bonfires. The difference lies in the contents: if the New…

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St John’s eve: ancient rituals to mark midsummer

Saint John’s Eve, starting at sunset on 23 June, is the eve of celebration before the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke states that John was born six months before Jesus, therefore, the feast of John the Baptist was fixed on 24 June, six months before Christmas according to the old Roman calculation. This feast day is one of the very few saints’ days which commemorates the anniversary of the birth, rather than the death, of the saint being honored. The Feast of Saint John…

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