The name of the month giugno (June) comes from the Roman goddess Juno, wife of the god Jupiter.
On the 2nd of June we celebrate la Festa Nazionale della Repubblica. In 1946 the Italian people held a referendum on whether to remain a kingdom or to become a republic. The decision was made in favor of becoming a republic and so, after 85 years, il Regno d’Italia became la Repubblica Italiana. The first Italian president was Enrico De Nicola, and the first prime minister was Alcide De Gasperi. Every year on the 2nd of June in Rome there is la sfilata delle forze armate (the parade of the armed forces), and its highlight is a display given by the famous Italian air force aerobatic team le Frecce Tricolore (the three-colored arrows – green white and red like the Italian flag).
On Sunday the 26th of June the Catholic Church celebrates the Corpus Domini (Corpus Christi). The festival originates from the supposed miracle that took place in Bolsena, north of Rome, in the year 1263. It is said that a Bohemian priest, Pietro da Praga, was in crisis about his religious faith, and so he decided to make a pilgrimage to Rome. On his way back he made a stop in Bolsena, where he celebrated an early morning mass during which, al momento dell’elevazione (the moment when the priest consecrates the bread and the wine whilst repeating Jesus’ words of the Last Supper), blood fell from the holy wafer onto the corporale (the linen that collects any crumbs that may fall from the holy wafer) and three paving stones near the altar. The priest asked for an audience with Pope Urbano IV who was staying in Orvieto for the summer holidays. The Pope immediately sent for the blood stained corporale to be brought to Orvieto and, having verified the miracle, he established the festival of the Corpus Domini.
The 24th of June is dedicated to the Natività di San Giovanni Battista (Birth of Saint John the Baptist). It is believed that the early morning dew which forms on the plants on the 24th of June has curative powers, therefore medicinal herbs are best collected early on that morning.
Fra maggio e giugno nasce un buon fungo (Between May and June a good mushroom is born)
Se giugno non fa sudare, il raccolto fa scarseggiare (If June doesn’t make you sweat, the harvest will be scarce)
Giugno senza sole, madre senza prole (June without sun, mother without children)
Ben venga giugno con la falce in pugno (Welcome June with the scythe in your fist)
Giugno lucciaiolo, festa nel granaio (June full of fire flies, feast in the barn)
Giugno tonante, raccolto abbondante (Thundery June, plenty of harvest)
La guazza di San Giovanni cura tutti i malanni (Saint John’s dew cures every ailment)
San Pietro e Paolo piovosi, per trenta dì sono dannosi (If it rains for Saint Peter and Paul (29th of June) it will bring damages for thirty days)
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