December 17, 2015
there shall come a starchristmas 2015 – prologue 6
click to read the christmas 2015 posts
The star prophecy is from the Book of Numbers 24:17 – I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel …
The image on the left comes from one of the Apriglianesi that I keep in contact with. He posted it on his FB page. The festival street-lights are no longer restricted to the religious celebrations, in Aprigliano they were used only for the feast of La Madonna di Portosalvo, in mid-September. But as evidenced in the pic, they are now also used at Christmas time. The star in the image is in one of the vinelle – small medieval alleys – that crisscross the town. The abundance of modern Italy has replaced the lean times and the poverty that my parents grew up with. For them the shortages created by the War were the standard, not the incessant push to shop and buy and decorate that TV now proselytizes. (Why am I being such a curmudgeon? The street-light star shows that for those who stayed behind, for those who didn’t rush off in search of the gold-paved streets of America, life turned out OK. They have all the conveniences and the accouterments that their expatriate friends and relatives have in modern day Canada in consumerism America.)
When I was a kid, Christmas was about the bonfire at the church piazza and food and candy. The small tree my Dad cut was decorated with oranges, persimmons, tangerines and different brands of torrone. Most of these were gifts that friends and family brought when they came to visit the days before Christmas. And on the 25th I could eat all these seasonal and exotic things. The other Christmas tradition was a presepio, but we didn’t have one. Only the better-off families seemed to have the nativity figurines. I remember one of the kids down in Corte, her family had a presepio and she organized all the younger kids to go out and collect moss so she could create a landscape for the figurines.