The Village Capital of Light

Scorrano, a little village turns into the Capital of the Luminarie for a few days a year. PHOTO:

Scorrano, a little village turns into the Capital of the Luminarie for a few days a year. PHOTO:

Tradition, religion, heritage, and passion: from one generation to the other, a small town in the Apulia region, Scorrano, has been able to keep all these things untouchable and unique and give them expression during a festival called “Festa delle Luminarie”. The history of this festival goes back to the 20th century and it is related to the existence of small family-run businesses that have been developing and installing the so-called “luminarie” to celebrate local patrons and religious feasts. This was especially true for this small town where only 7,000 people live: there, a few local firms used to wait for the village’s feast in order to install the most beautiful and spectacular illuminations they had been working on in the months before.
Their beloved patron, whose name is Santa Domenica, has become a symbol of this tradition: Domenica, the Christian martyr, was initially the daughter of Doroteo and Arsenia and, once she rejected the wedding proposal coming from a noble man, she was reported and prosecuted by Emperor Diocleziano. Like many other Christians who were persecuted because “enemies” of Rome, Domenica was tempted and tortured in order to make her deny her faith. As this did not happen, she was eventually decapitated. The legend tells about an elderly woman who dreamt of Domenica stating her willing to be the Patron of Scorrano and to help the village get rid of the plague in 1600s. Once the miracle had happened, she would have also asked to celebrate it on July 6, the date of her martyrdom. The moment would have been also remembered by lighting up houses with small candles to prove people’s affection and gratitude towards the Santa. For centuries, locals have been preserving a very small celebration, until the early 1900s, when the tradition of luminarie started becoming popular.
In the last few years, Scorrano has turned into the “Capitale Mondiale delle Luminarie”, and this has been possible thanks to some local family-run businesses that, every year on July 6, can show their new works to visitors. While in the past the event was an attraction especially for locals and people from surrounding areas, today’s visitors from all around Italy take a trip here on these days. The event comes with music and fireworks and let everybody enjoy a show where the art of making luminarie comes together with creativity. From the Milan’s Dome to Tour Eiffel, from the Colosseum, the small square and the streets around give life, every year, to all new, amazing architectural structures.
More on this annual festival here.

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