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June 3, 2016     Post-Gazette
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June 3, 2016

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PAGE 4 POST-GAZETtE, JUNE 3, 2016 " L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore Ah, June[ No other month the Republic," as Italy's inde- brings as much joy to the heart pendence day, a rough equiva- of this schoolteacher. June is lent to our Fourth of July. This inextricably linked to summer feast honors the date in 1946 in my mind. It means eighty- when, afterthe turmoil of World plus degree days when I open War II, Italians voted on creat- every window, trying to catch a ing a republic rather than a pleasant ruffle of a breeze. It is monarchy. Nearly everything days spent walking by the sea- -- banks, stores, tourist sites, shore, inhaling the salty scent museums -- is closed or oper- of the ocean and listening to ares on holiday hours. Instead, the plaintive cries of the gulls. Italians celebrate by watching June means days of ice cream parades and attending outdoor dripping down cones and strolls parties or concerts. Expect in the late-evening sunshine, to see the Italian tricolor flag Finally, June means the last with its bright hues of "red, school bell of the year, opening white and green adorning land- up a summer full of possibil- marks and waving from people's ity and hope. Yes, I truly love homes. La Festa della Repub- June, and so did my ancestors blica appropSately occurs in over in Italy. For June in Italy the summer, when people can boasts a number of holidays take advantage of the lovely that revel in the summery na- weather to go outdoors and ture and outdoorsy aspects of show their communal pride in the month. In truth, June can being Italian. be an overwhelming time to visit 2) Festival of San Ranieri Italy, as that is when most of (June 16th-17th): The feast of the tourists descend, combining St. Rainerius, or San Ranieri as crowds with hot temperatures, he is known to Italians, encore- However, those who go outside passes two days of merriment of the well-beaten tourist path in the Tuscan city of Pisa. On will greatly enjoy this beauti- the eve of the feast day, Pisa ful month in Italy, especially celebrates its patron saint by because of one of these four lighting up the city's buildings traditional festivities, with over 70,000 glass-encased I) Festa delia Repubbliea candles. These lumini cast a (June 2*d): In the simplest warm, romantic glow against terms, one can think of la Festa the meandering Arno River. della Repubblica, or "Feast of A fireworks displays caps off Public Insurance Adjuster Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO * HOMEOWNERS * TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building An Italian June by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz the night's festivities. The next day, people gather to watch a regatta, or boat race. I find it interesting that this quaint and local holiday includes the two biggest hallmarks of sol- stice celebrations -- fire and water -:- giving Italians cause to honor the sweet delights of midsummer. 3) Saint John's Day (June 24th): This is one of my favorite holidays. It commemo- rates St. John the Baptist, the major religious figure who baptized Jesus, though many traditions originated from the pre-Christian festivities cel- ebrating the summer solstice. In Northern Europe, St. John's Day is known as Midsummer since it falls so close to the sum- mer solstice. People celebrate with rites honoring the sun (the summer solstice) and water (St. John the Baptist): building maypoles, floating garlands of flowers down streams, lighting bonfires. In Italy, this is la Festa di San Giovanni Battista. In the Lake Como region, people float hundreds of delicate lanterns on the lake and later continue the theme of light by enjoying a fireworks display. Florentines celebrate with a medieval tour- nament, while also holding a procession of rowboats carrying candles drifting serenely along the Arno River. These festivals perfectly capture the magic of the longest night of the year, harnessing the power of the sun and honoring the life-giving qualities of water. 4) Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29th): Rome cele- brates the feast day of two of the most important figures of early Christianity with great fanfare. The commemoration of St. Peter and St. Paul, or San Pietro e San Paolo, includes a special Mass from St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican (St. Peter was the first Pope). Many businesses in Rome are closed for the day as people admire elaborate flower carpets -- a summer symbol -- outside St. Peter's Square. Like many summer holidays, the day ends with a fireworks display. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy June in Italy. Lots of little festivals, known as sagre, dot the Ital- ian landscape. These small holidays frequently devote their attention to a specific crop, and during the summer that can mean anything from peaches to strawberries to herbs. One of the best aspects of Italian holidays is that they so connect to the rhythms of the Earth, and encourage reflection in the pres- ent moment. So no matter how you celebrate, make sure to give thanks for the wonderful month of June and all of the delights it offers! Happy June! Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachu- setts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folk- lore at DIAMONDS Fi'OLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 by Sal Giarratani The Beach is Approaching I so love this time of the year. The temperatures keep rising. The sun continues to get stronger. Sadly, the beaches get more crowded. I like it when I feel like I am on my own private beach. Last Wednesday, I spent the day soaking up the rays along Wol- laston Beach trying to tan up as fast as possible. I am not stupid now. I had skin cancer once. I always use sun- block, usually no less than number 70. The cancer has never returned. My favorite beaches are Wollaston Beach, and Shea's Beach back in East Boston. } like Wollaston better because I stay near Tony's Clam Shop, not just because I like the fish there, but because I like their restrooms ~- and the older you get, the more you know where the nearest bathroom is located! Personally, I may be old, but I am not dead yet. The scenery is always good. I enjoy checking out the latest bikinis. Besides that, I always bring my radio along. Sometimes I listen to the Kuhner Man on WRKO, but he often raves and rants too much for me. I then go to Plan B, WJIB, the Memories Station with In Wollaston, I keep hearing all the traffic pass by. Over in East Boston, I get to count endless jetliners lining up for takeoff. One friend of mine said, too much jet fuel falls on that beach. I counter, the same jet fuel falls in Quincy, too. I try and not think about dripping airplanes. It would take away most of the fun of trying to tan up to look like my Sicilian dad. During the other three seasons, 1 look pale and Irish. Recently, an old friend over at the Mirabella Pool in the North End (I like outside pools, too) gave me his sun block. His doctor told him to stay out of the sun. This guy has a nickname, "The Tan Man," but soon it could be changed to "Pale Face." By the way, the pool has good scenery, too. Kuhner tags along with me there, but most people demand that I play that good old music for them. Cut the politics and stick to the music. You know, I find it hard to get a mental picture of Jeff Kuhner in his trunks at a beach or pool Of course I hate the mental image of Hillary in her swimsuit, too. So get ready for summer, put politics aside when you can, and enjoy life. Remember, life is a precious gift, don't waste a good beach day. Mayor's North End/Waterfront Coffee Hour Rescheduled Mayor Walsh's North End/Waterfront Coffee Hour has been th rescheduled from Wednesday, June 8 to Wednesday, June 29th at 9:30 am at Christopher Columbus Park, 110 Atlantic Avenue, North End. The event is rain or shine. e the 6th Annual St. Padre Pio Procession On Sunday, June 26th, the streets of the North End will come alive as the sixth annual St. Padre Pio Procession takes place. Attendees will participate in an Italian mass at Saint Leonard Church organized by the Friends of Padre Pio beginning at 10:30 am, followed by refreshments. The Procession will take place from 2:00-6:00 pro, beginning at St. Leonard Church, with members carrying the statue of St. Pio through the neighborhoods of the North End, where devotees pin donations on ribbons. All proceeds to benefit St. Leonard Church. f Boston Harborside Home ph A. Langone 580 Commercial St. - Boston, MA 02109 617-536-4110 Augustave M. Sabia, Jr. Trevor Slauenwhite Frederick J. Wobrock Dino C. Manca Courtney A. Fitzgibbons A Service Family Affiliate of AFFS/Service Corporation International 206 Winter St., Fall River, MA 02720 Telephone 508-676-2454 J