When two young people love each other and want never to be apart, the must bathe in the sea, in this magical night, even for a few moments, and they can rest assured that their love will bind them forever.
On the 23rd of June, after sunset, 9 olive flowers are gathered and put in a basin of water (spring water is preferable). They are left there overnight, exposed to the astral influxes. At sunrise the drawing that has been formed corresponds to the initials of the future husband.
On a piece of paper you must write and then count the questions for which you expect an answer from the sky. After that you put the paper under the pillow. Then you must make an equal number of notes with “Saint Joan says yes” and with “Saint Joan says no”. You mix the notes thoroughly and leave them in a tiled vessel overnight. In the morning when you wake up you take the piece of paper containing the questions. You read each question and with one hand, without looking, you pull a note from the vessel. The note will tell you if your wish will come true or not.
At midnight (1 o’clock, according to the legal hour in force) you must gather a handful of “sporis” leaves while you utter the following incantation: “I take you in the name of Aniel, Ariel, Vehenel, Rehael, Umbael, Manakel, so you will make me loved by X”. You collect the leaves in a white handkerchief, which has never been used (made from cotton or silk) and you will hold it for 21 days in an airy dark place. When the mentioned period ends, you crumble the leaves without opening the handkerchief. When the leaves become minced, you open the handkerchief and spray that leaf-dust onto your hands, wrists and face.
On the Sanziene night, women go to places known only by them, to gather herbs for medicine and exorcism. Many of the flowers and herbs collected on this day are taken to church, with faith that they will be blessed and by this they will be cleansed of the negative influences of the Rusalii (a kind of evil forest fairies). Only in this way, it is said, will they be good for medicine.
Along with their protective role, Sanzienele were sometimes considered by young girls a means to find out their destined one and the time when they were going to get married. The men’s crowns, braided in a cross-form, and those of the girls in a circle-form, are thrown on the house. If the crowns stop on the roof there will be a wedding, and if not the destined one shouldn’t be expected anymore.
Sanziene represent an opportunity for young people to meet and bind their destinies, a celebration of love which is honored with song and dance. In Sanziene Eve girls and boys to be married, gather in the evening, in the village. There’s joy and good will and everybody has an open-heart. The lads light bonfires and then the “Dragaica” is chosen. One girl out of a group of 7 is chosen. She must be the most beautiful, the most obedient and the best of all the village girls.
Then the whole village takes part in the ceremony. Householders receive an ear of wheat, which they place on the beam in the barn. They hope that their grains will gather up to that height. Elders say that in the Sanziene Night, the Iele gather and dance in the woods. Whoever sees them remains dumb forever. They believe that whoever does not celebrate Dragaica may have much misfortune: the one who washes, sews or mops can die chocked or hit by lightning. People say that the girls who want to get married quickly must wash with dew. But for this bathing ritual to have effect, certain conditions must be respected: in daylight, in places untouched by human hand, old women gather the Sanziene’s dew in a white cloth, then squeeze it into a new pot. On the way home they mustn’t speak or meet anybody. If all these conditions are fulfilled, whoever washes with that dew will be healthy and loving throughout the year. Married women may also do this ritual to be loved all year long by their husband and to have beautiful, healthy children.