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?????
Yle 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.
The President of Ciancia (an Italian Language group in Atlanta, Ga) wrote a great description on their news letter:
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!
“Traditionally, on August 10th there is a night of falling stars – really a meteor shower – that is interpreted as San Lorenzo’s tears”. (author unknown)
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…”