Today Holy Mother Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Fr. Z alerted us this morning that it is the tradition on this feast day to eat snails.
I did some research as to why. Here’s what I found here:
While famous around the world as a French dish, Rome has its typical recipe traditionally linked to the festa di San Giovanni or St. John the Baptist’s feast day. The feast day occurs June 24, around the period of the summer solstice. Traditionally, that evening the Romans would fend off spirits and evil demons with exorcisms and magic rituals. Piazza San Giovanni (St. John’s square) would be lit with torches and coloured lamps and the people would bring food. Eating snails with sauce, it was said, would ward off misfortune as the molluscs were considered to represent disharmony.
Go figure. I still don’t see the clear connection. I have sent our PV, Fr. Don, an email to see if he might have any other info on this!
But in the Philippines, today’s celebration was marked by throwing water on people’s heads. I refer you to this article. As the article says: “The ritual to commemorate Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist has been celebrated for decades in the Philippines, Asia’s largest predominantly Roman Catholic nation.”
God Bless Holy Mother Church and her traditions!