Welcome Summer!


Girasoli

Hi everybody!
This time the month of June welcomes all of you with its festivals, rites and thousand-year habits which, still now, turn our huge world into a pocket globe!

The frenetic life style we are used to nowadays does not leave time to reflection, memory, the evocation of our forefathers’ old habits, which were supposed to celebrate the world where they lived, the ineluctable flow of time, articulated by a natural calendar. How many beliefs and traditions have been lost in the meanders of history and human being evolution as time went by, and thus belong to our cultural background only, but not to our personal awareness?

Well, this time the month of June will be our “pretext” to go back in time and try to retrieve from memory the origins of some festivities which we still celebrate all over the world , once in a while reminding us of how little our Earth is!

Since ancient times, June has been the month celebrating nature arousal, corn “explosion”, a primary feeding source, and…the sun! What we all celebrate as Summer beginning is, as a matter of fact, an astronomic occurrence which our forefathers perfectly knew even without our new technologies aid. On June 21st Summer season officially starts and the sun seems to stop off the horizon, rising and setting in the same place all the time (the name solstice comes from that – break), till June 24th when the sun continues its way towards the Southern horizon.

Fire and water are the most common elements which were used during those popular celebrations, since they were associated with the sun and moon, which, according to ancient civilizations, joined together just on this day.

And the sun was so powerful to be able to set against Christianity arrival: the summer solstice had been so important for the civilizations in the world till that time that it could not been dismissed or suddenly left behind; on the other hand, Christianity could not even continues the same pagan rituals that had always tried to fight back, so it was decided to replace the old feasts with religious celebrations, keeping the original dates. On June 24th in fact, we use to celebrate the birth of Saint John the Baptist, whose symbols par excellence are fire and water…accidental associations with the distinguishing elements of pagan custom, or easy links that came back into Christian use? Whatever we decide to believe, we should be aware of the origins of June 24th celebrations, whose meanings are older than any we may suppose. We should be aware of the old cultures and traditions which have been creating our cultural background and our human being consciousness.

And finally, let’s not forget that just Saint John the Baptist is the Patron Saint of Florence that, according to the religious “tradition”, is celebrated to the sound of fireworks, usually let off from Piazzale Michelangelo (as well as pagan tradition used to light up bonfires on that night).
So if you get to visit Florence on that day, we strongly suggest you do not miss the chance to attend this striking event…after all, deep down each of us should offer his own homage to that star in the sky that has never got tired of warming up and protecting all of us, or if you prefer, to Florence and its Patron Saint which gives us pleasure every day through its internationally acclaimed art masterpieces.

And how could Pisa be worse than Florence, its historical rival? You just need to pop over the city on June 16th in the evening to find an “enlightening” answer to our rhetoric question! In fact, about sunset time, Pisa gets ready to celebrate its Patron Saint, San Ranieri, by lightening up a striking Luminara : this is an old tradition offering to its spectators still now a beautiful sight where lights reflect on the Arno river, thus creating a suffused, magic atmosphere. For more information on this topic, visit http://tuscany.travel/en/leisure/events-in-tuscany/pisa-festival-of-lights

San Ranieri, Pisa

And if the past shows us its old traditions, the present reflects current societies and relative needs, offering us new “ideas”: and so, The Music Festival has been celebrating the summer solstice on June 21st since 1995 in all the main European cities at the same time. A universally spoken language to overcome social and cultural barriers, and mix our voices up all together contemporaneously…it could be, maybe, one of the rare chances to see, or better, to listen to a united Europe.

Paul Gaugain, Da dove veniamo? Cosa siamo? Dove andiamo?

Anyhow, what we should never forget is where do we come from, what are we, where are we going, just as “a certain” Paul Gaugain wrote, or better, painted on his well known, homonym painting.

See you on July!


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