The Italians seem to have festivals for every event, food, saints, seasons, weather, but I really like this one:
La Notte di San Lorrenzo or the night of san Lorrenzo
Several posts this week alerted me to this event, so I hope I give credit to all the bloggers and FB posts I read about this event. Has anyone outside of Italy ever heard of this?????
FREE WISHESYle tells me:
During this special occasion, family and friends stay together and watch the starred sky until somebody see a shooting star. It is at that point that a wish comes true.
It is the night during which everybody is with their faces looking up. Many people love meeting on beaches at night, waiting for the stars to fall, playing guitar, singing and dancing pizzica. It is a special occasion to celebrate with good food, wine and music.
The President of Ciancia (an Italian Language group in Atlanta, Ga) wrote a great description on their news letter:
In Italy, Ferragosto is the traditional night of the falling stars, dense with memories of summer infatuations and hearttrobs – definitively a sensuous and romantic holiday.
Back in the old days, memorable soccer games were played on our streets, with hardly a car or a bus passing by, the goal made by shut-down storefront on opposite sides, and suddenly, the sidewalk would turn into a stadium. Under 100 degrees plus, even police officers would step in the shade and watch the game. Bystanders would turn into children, neatly dressed businessmen would get in the game in their blue suit.
At night, with our cities virtually empty, we would lay down on the pavement of the busiest intersection downtown, just for the extraordinary circumstance. For a moment, the city was ours. Then we would drive to the beach and sit on the sand with our friends until daybreak.
On the Northern hemisphere, August 15 coincides with a peak activity of the Perseid meteor shower, leaving Italians at a particular advantage to view this astrological event – best seen at pre-dawn hours. In the U.S. you may have to wait until dawn to see them – face up, on a cloudless sky, it’s a stunning spectacle!
The author of Bleeding Espresso, Michelle Fabio, had a great story on her blog about this event:
Also called La Notte dei Desideri (the Night of Wishes), August 10 is a special, magical day for Italians, and it can be for you too.
Each year on this night, Italians turn their eyes skyward in the hopes of seeing a shooting star, one of the many that will fall during the Perseid Meteor Shower. Seen near the constellation of Perseus, the numerous stelle cadenti (falling stars) are actually remains of the comet Swift-Tuttle, discovered in 1862.
The falling stars are believed to represent tears shed for San Lorenzo during his August 10 burial after he died a martyr’s death in 258 A.D. As deacon of Pope Sixtus II, San Lorenzo had been ordered by one of tyrant Valerian’s judges to offer up the church’s treasures; San Lorenzo presented the poorest of his congregation, and the judge ordered San Lorenzo to be burned alive on a gridiron.
And so, on this night, Italians believe that wishes will come true for those who stop to remember the pain suffered by San Lorenzo and with every falling star they say, “Stella, mia bella Stella, desidero che…”
“Star, my beautiful star, I wish that…”
I have to run outside and look for stars.....I have my wish all ready, how about you?
My Italian wish did come true but that is another story