Folk Traditions

August 10: Night of San Lorenzo, the night of the shooting stars, night of magic and hope.

August 10: Night of San Lorenzo, the night of the shooting stars, night of magic and hope.

Folk Traditions

Every year, on the night of 10 August, the eyes of the world turn to the sky to seize upon a shooting star. Scientifically speaking this phenomenon occurs because an asteroid in the constellation Perseus (called precisely Perseids) is captured from Earth’s orbit. From time immemorial, August 10 is dedicated to the martyrdom of San Lorenzo and the shooting stars are the tears shed by the saint during his torture. This gives the night atmosphere full of magic and hope. In fact, the sight of a shooting star is believed that all wishes can come true, but watch out for the success of the purpose it is necessary to simultaneously remember the pain of San Lorenzo. Finally, the stars in the popular tradition of 10 August are also called “Fires of St. Lawrence” because remember the fiery sparks coming from the gridiron on which the martyr was killed, then fly in the sky. Although in reality the Holy burned but did not die beheaded.

 

“San Lorenzo of the great summer heat and St. Anthony the great pun,

the one and the other does not last long”

Popular Proverb.

 

San Lorenzo, the patron of the fire, as the official hagiography and how they like to remember the popular prints. He is the patron of Grosseto, Tuscan city, and you can tell that just in the symbols that accompany it draws the characters themselves of the town Maremma: the heat of the plains and sunny green vegetation dreamed of and longed for by the Maremma. A time to San Lorenzo was in use before eating watermelon and a slice of tasty fruit was used to establish new agricultural terms. A handshake was enough and no one could break the contract. Even nell’aretino August 10 was an opportunity to bring together all the chief family of the several farms in the area, the intent was to discuss and decide the affairs of common interest. We ate free-range chickens and “Chicci”, or sweets are always present in every stall. In Lucca, another Tuscan town, it was in vogue the custom of the branch of walnut, now remembered only in books archives. Young people were in the evening to remove some branch of walnut with abundant fruit still hanging and put him out of the door of the beloved as a sign of love. But it could happen that some girl the next morning found a gift and another with a very different meaning, led in spite of some rejected lover. If there was then a pine branch wanted to say: “If you want husband, get out in the woods and embraces one of these plants”, or if it was a bunch of hemp “For me, you can hanged!” Alluding to the rope that you get with hemp.

Excerpt from “Life in Tuscany”, a book kindly granted by the Institution Cultural and Educational Castiglionese

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