The San Giovanni (Saint John) festival is traditionally held on the night of the 24th and midsummer.
A tradition in the city of Rome is that the night before, the 23rd, is the “Night of the Witches”. To mark this occasion there will be a night of song, verse and a musical witch hunt in the gardens adjacent to Via Sannio.
Stands in the gardens will offer party-goers free samples of snails – to eat. It is believed that eating a snail would prevent a man’s wife from committing adultery on him.
The night ends with Romans symbolically leaving rosemary, juniper, laurel and olive branches outside their houses to fend off witches.
In Pure Spirit
Is it a good thing that the citizens of Rome are re-creating traditional festivals? Should witches be portrayed in a negative light like this?