Wednesday, February 17, 2010
After dark, the real fun starts when over 300 people who are no longer legal to drive are allowed to light towering bundles of cane on fire and parade through the streets of Offida before arriving at the Piazza del Popolo to deposit what remains in a big bonfire. The town fills with smoke and from a distance appears to be on fire itself. The groups are running out of gas, so most of the music becomes the recorded type and finally the last of the embers burn out and everyone stumbles home.
The locals dress in a costume called a guazzero' which is white with various patterns, but always with some red to signify the blood from the bull, which was by tradition let loose in the streets by the rich so the poor could catch it and have a big festival of dining and drinking. That is part of the Bove finto celebration the friday before fat tuesday.
Now it is Ash Wednesday and most of the participants are glad it is a day of abstinence. This starts the lenten season which here is called the quaresimo.
Happy quaresimo to everyone!
Posted by Dwight at 11:57 AM