Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Out of Darkness, Light!

I came across this nifty article tonight! 

Traditional Fires In Winter Solstice In Treviso

Below are a few excerpts. Surf on over and check out the whole piece, it's quick!
The origins of panevin, the traditional bonfires in winter solstice, are very old certainly in Veneto - Italy; it, born as rite concerning Fire and Earth, was influenced by the Christian faith afterwards and thus it become a tool to light up the way of Three Wise Men who were got lost. 

The panevin celebrated day of winter solstice by fire at first, this event fell on the 25th of December according to Julian calendar and then it coincided later on the day of the birth of Jesus and it was put off after twelve days, at the Epiphany Eve after some centuries.

This traditional bonfire in winter solstice is made by a heap of dry branches, brushwood, firewood and everything which is no more necessary and destined to be burnt; it is eight or ten metres high and it has a circular base with a diameter of three or four metres.
A puppet, being similar to an old lady, is often placed on the top of panevin; this female figure is called “vecia” (“old lady”) and she is guilty of all mishaps and calamities happened in just past year and thus she is burnt.
The persons, being near bonfire, look at the smoke and the sparks carried by wind and they deduce some auspices from this event for the year just begun: if the smoke and the sparks go south or west, blown by a moist wind, the crop’ll be good. If the smoke and the sparks of panevin go north or east, the harvest’ll be poor.

Right now I'm sitting in front of our fire, sharing some cake and wine with the family as part of what I blogged about last night. Winter officially arrives 4 hours from now! Back to the celebration!

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