Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 47 Fireworks

I woke up thinking Puglia was being retaken by the Greeks as shot after shot cut the early morning silence.

The fireworks started around 7 am and have continued sporadically throughout the day. It's early evening and they're still going strong. In fact, a few minutes ago I was going up the outdoor stairs up to the roof to check whether my laundry was dry when a new burst of light and sound nearly knocked me off my feet.

(My laundry has been sitting there for 36 hours and it's still not dry despite bright light most of the day. Looks like I won't be able to wear my good jeans to Lecce tonight....)

I was working in the courtyard toward noon, the door to the street open when our neighbour Uccia walked by. Buon giorno! Barbara and I and Uccia shouted at each other. We invited her in. She couldn't stay. Her husband was about to pick her up to get to the airport in Brindisi. Their eldest son was arriving from Milan. If ever I've seen pride written on a mother's face, this was it.

But she stopped long enough to explain what the noise is all about: San Pantaleo, Martignano's patron saint of Martignano.

The fireworks is day one of a three-day celebration his honour. (See post for Day 27 for more about the saint). Tomorrow, Sunday, there's a procession (yeah, haven't seen one since I was in Grade school), and culminates at 7 p.m. on Monday with a huge bonfire in the sports area. (I'll be there, of course.)

Folks around here have been holding the festivities since November 1716 as thanks the saint for saving them from a devastating hurricane that hit the region that year.  Italians seem to have long memories for good and for bad.

Stairs leading up to the rooftop laundry facilities framed a bright crescent moon

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