The Wicker Man & Montezuma’s sacrificial Aztec fires popped into mind at the first glance of Tossicia’s vast log pyramid ready to be lit in praise of San’Antonio.
The villages of Abruzzo certainly know how to build bonfires, we’ve seen some amazing ones that put my past experiences in the UK of scrappy Guy Fawkes fires in November in the shade – these are rich feats of engineering whose heat can last in the small town piazza for up to 3 days later. A lovely thought for cold winter days, you can see why it became such a tradition in days gone past.
Following the Priest’s liturgy and sprinkling of holy water on the fire, The Master Firelighter who looked more like Javier Bardem in the Coen brothers No Country for Old Men, went around the damp logs with his canister which thankfully in this case contained only gas to scorch those big bad damp logs into life, reliving some of the pagan traditions and earlier culture of Abruzzo & Europe that used logs and fire to celebrate and purify ready for the approaching Spring.
The band struck up, old songs dedicated to San Antonio rang out, and with stomachs only lightly full by Abruzzo standards with Sausage & Foije Panini the dancing began that would continue till Dawn, led by the elderly Priest who managed a few high kick scissors and an excuse for the old guys of the town to dance once more with pretty young things.