Harvest time (収穫時期)
While June in Japan brings the rainy season with “Tsuyu” drizzle, June in Italy brings sunshine. It is warm, but not hot like July and August, and many people start enjoying weekends at seaside or mountains. Summer vacation for schools start during this month, so for most students this is a wonderful and lighthearted time, in anticipation of the longest school holiday in the year, from June to September. Anyway, for students who must get high school diplomas as well as for University students, these are hard days and nights, spent preparing for exams that stretch over weeks between June and July. Studying is always a hard experience for young students, but if bending over books in the cold and rainy winter days is not much fun, studying for exams just at the beginning of summer is hell, especially when the sky is blue and the sea is as refreshing as heaven, with friends calling from the beach..
June is the month for harvesting wheat and other grains, as well as various types of beans that need collection once dry on the plants. With seldom raining, and the color of the countryside green and gold, it is a comfortable month to travel Italy north and south. In June, the sun path is highest on the horizon, and the days around Summer Solstice, on June 21, are the longest in the year. At this time, ancient belief was that the sun and the moon “marry”, so to say, and all the planets and the stars participate in chorus to the lucky event sending on earth their most powerful influence. Traditionally, people always held special night parties for this occasion, spicing them up with magical rituals related to harvest and fertility. For example, Europeans at large used to have gatherings and dances around bonfires since the preceding night, just as at Spring Equinox. It is a time considered auspicious for marrying as opposed to the period since mid-May, which the ancient Romans considered not auspicious.
In the Christian calendar, the center of these practices has shifted to June 24; day dedicated to St. John Baptist, so called because he baptized Jesus in water on the river Jordan in Israel. Having announced redemption from sins through baptism, according to the Christian theology this saint is precursor of Jesus in the mission of salvation of humanity from hell. In view of the theological implications derived by analogy from the fact that at summer solstice, the sun is just starting the descent that will end at Christmas time, when it starts the ascent, Christians believe that he was born this day. In other words, his birth is to Jesus’ birth as a minor event preceding a major one.
According to folklore belief, prodigious events occur the night preceding this day, especially those with predictive implication. In order to catch this chance, people attached to tradition, on the night preceding the 24th use various practices to forecast the future. One of them is to open an egg and leave it all night with some water in a glass cup placed on the ledge of an open window. Dewdrops from the night chill will add up, bringing with them the magic touch of what the ancient pre-Christians called “dewdrops of the gods”. In the morning, they check and try to read the patterns visible in the mix of egg and water, to figure out the kind of omen expressed in there, mainly related to the harvest, whether abundant or not, but also to love and health. Being many types of herbs in full bloom at this time of the year, nowadays people still choose this night to collect them, aware or not of the ancient belief that right at this moment in time in the year herbs better retain their properties thanks to the influence from the celestial bodies. One type of herb for this practice is the Hypericum, a medical herb, also called “Erba di San Giovanni” (St. John Herb”), which in English is actually called “St. John’s Wort”. Origanum, a herb used to flavor recipes, is also collected before the sunrise of the 24th in order to catch its best fragrance.
Giamba Japan will participate to Caferes fair at Tokyo Big Sight on June 13-15. Even though the time does not match exactly summer solstice or St. John day, there is good hope that exhibiting Freezerino bottle holders at that event will be auspicious for the success of this product among our customers. Especially, we will welcome restaurants, bars and hotels, who wish to renew their wine and champagne service, to make it uniquely stylish and charming. We will be waiting..