The last two mornings, we have been woken by several cannon blasts. It seems that all Festivals in Italy start that way. At several intervals during the day, the cannons would go off, announcing the beginning of some event. This is the weekend when the Assumption of the Madonna (Mary, mother of Jesus) is celebrated as the day she ascended to heaven, and we are in the area where there a few famous Madonna statues. It also represents the start of the Italian holidays and August 15th is a big holiday here.
Last night, it was a replica of the statue of “Our Lady of Trapini” that was born down the street by several carriers. She was preceded by a number of priests in their robes, and locals carrying blue flower torches. They walked through the town of Falcone in a procession, followed by a band. At times, they would all sing beautiful hymns. It was stirring and beautiful to watch. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed the street fair, including us. Dinner was a delicious Italian version of a hot dog, with the sausages being cooked for us right there on the street.
Tonight, the statue was taken out on the water. We missed that, but did make the fireworks display where they also lit laterns that floated up to the sky, representing the ascension of the Madonna to heaven. We were out on our dinghy at sea, and many boats were out there decorated in red white and green lights. There were several fireworks displays going on at the same time.
We are also very close to Tindari, where a statue of black Madonna is in a church perched on a rock high above the sea. We can see it from the beach. We will be visiting that next week once we have a car.