Sânziană is the Romanian name for gentle fairies who play an important part in local folklore, also used to designate the Galium verumor Cruciata laevipes flowers. Under the plural form Sânziene, the word designates an annual festival in the fairies’ honor, celebrated on June 24.
The folk practices of Sânziene imply that the most beautiful maidens in the village dress in white and spend all day searching for and picking
Galium verum (Lady’s bedstraw or Yellow bedstraw)
flowers, which in Romanian is also named “Sânziànă”. Using the flowers they picked during the day, the girls braid floral crowns which they wear upon returning to the village at nightfall. There they meet with their beloved and they dance around a bonfire. The crowns are thrown over the houses, and whenever the crown falls, it is said that someone will die in that house; if the crown stays on the roof of the house, then good harvest and wealth will be bestowed upon the owners. As with other bonfire celebrations, jumping over the embers after the bonfire is not raging anymore is done to purify the person and also to bring health.
During the Sânziene Eve night, the heavens open up, making it the strongest night for magic spells, especially for the love spells. Also it is said that the plants harvested during this night will have tremendous magical powers.