PRAIANO LUMINARIA A FIRE´S FESTIVAL
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From the 1st to the 4th of August Praiano Amalfi Coast celebrates the Luminaria di San Domenico, a festival where the inhabitants of the town decorate the roads, terraces, balconies and gardens with candles and burning wax. Originating in the 15th Century when Domenican monks came to live in the Monastry of Santa Maria a Castro,on the mountainside high above Praiano, the festival is a spectacular event not to be missed.
So of course I missed the evening where they decorate the church square with hundreds of candles, creating a beautiful glowing pattern that makes for some spectacular photos..
So we went the next night to see what was happening. The road into Praiano was lit up by burning candles placed on every availabe flat and the church had been transformed into a multi-coloured dream. I wonder what the monks would have thought about that!
At 11pm the fire dance started. I left my friends in the crowds and snuck into a restaurant overlooking the piazza, squeezing myself behind a plant pot in a corner behind a table, to watch the show and take photos. A circle of flames was lit and the dancers came out swinging flames around in the air.
They weren’t actually devil worshipping here, it just looks like it:
After much flame swinging, flame throwing and dancing they added some sparkly stuff to the flames for the finale, and I discovered the fireworks setting on my camera, probably causing nearby people to wonder what on earth the strange girl straddling a potted palm in the corner of the restaurant was grinning to herself about:
At the end of the evening a statue, I presume it was San Domenico himself, (I haven’t done my homework, sorry) was taken out of the church and carried around with much bell ringing, fireworks and prayers.
I extracted myself from the potted palm and escaped to find my friends, ready to enjoy the next part of the evening in the local bar