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July 26, 2013     Post-Gazette
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July 26, 2013

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 26, 2013 L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore ! The Secret Holiday of Laminas by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz Years ago, during a trip and fruits are gathered. Theour present, as surely as to Italy in late July, I would name Lammas derives loaf- the wheat in the focaccia bySal Giarratani routinely drive past round mass, as a loaf of bread made becomes a reminder of the bales of hay baking in the summer sun, stacked neat in the fields like bowling balls. This was the time of hay- ing in Italy, also known as la mietiturcc Thought hot sum- mer air still pervades the days, Italians know that the fall is soon approaching and the grains must be collected. Every time this period of the year rolls around, I too can feel autumn wrapping its cool arms around the Earth. I can see it in the nights that grow progressively darker, calling me back to the comforts of home. I can see it in the back-to-school commercials played on the television. I can see it in the golden streaks of sunlight shining through the trees, in the abundance of fruits lining the supermar- kets. Many people fervently lament the end of summer, but as someone who always strives to appreciate each season, I am excitingly wel- coming the start of fall -- that lovely time of harvest and bounty, rhythm and comfort. These transitional days re- mind me of one of my favor- ite holidays, a little-known feast day named Laminas. Lammas, which falls on August 1st, is one of those wonderful seasonal holidays most people stopped observ- ing once society turned over- whelmingly industrial. In the ancient Celtic tradition, Lammas celebrated the first day of autumn. Yes, the days are still humid and the leaves have yet to change color, but Lammas marks the agricul- tural start of the fall, when the first harvests of grains with the first wheat of the year was brought to church and blessed during this holi- day. The ancient Celts also knew Lammas as Lughna- sadh (pronounced loo-na-sa), a harvest feast in honor of Lugh, the god of light. Lughnasadh was celebrated with bonfires, dancing and pilgrimages to hilltops to gather fruits. Even today, people in Ireland mark the first day of August with festi- vals and visits to friends and family, while priests bless the fields. No matter how people enjoy this holiday, Laminas revels in the unique transi- tions of this season. While occurring at a time of fiery light and heat, Laminas also prepares those working with the Earth for the autumn and harvests to come. A harvest feast is never complete without some form of rustic bread, so every Laminas I gather with my grandmother and mother to prepare a focaccia, that wonderful Italian staple. We make it from scratch and as the hands of three genera- tions become immersed in the flour and water, I think about my ancestors, to whom the first harvest of wheat often meant a matter of life and death. The focaccia is then topped with paper-thin slices of onion, rosemary leaves and coarse salt, but the real star is the bread itself. The Laminas focaccia serves as a prime example of why food remains so impor- tant in holidays. Food can act as a powerful reminder of our past and the world of ALBERT A. DENAPOLI, ESQ. Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C. 101 Huntington Avenue Prudential Center Boston, MA 02199 (617) 218-2024 Direct o (617)218-2000 Main (617) 261-7673 Fax E-Mail: adenapoli@tbhr-law.corn o Web Address: The law firm of Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C. provides individuals, businesses and municipalities with sophisticated and cost-effective legal counsel in the areas of estate planning, taxation, real estate, corporate law, executive benefits, business litigation, environmental law, and insolvency law. The firm is unique in its ability to provide comprehensive and high quality legal services normally associated with significantly larger firms but in a more cost effective manner. Insurance Agency Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 7812841100 Fax 7812842200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building Earth's nurturing abun- dance. To mark a day with specialty food is to set that day apart, to recognize that it has values and implications that speak to our universal needs and desires. Celebrat- ing Lammas can be as easy as making or eating bread -- provided we are attuned to the significance behind it. It really is a shame that the seasonal aspect of holidays (Continued on Page 13) f czT~nn{'t~ DIAMONDS ROLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 J I- ! I I I I I 345 Revere 781-286-CASH -- EXTRA SPENDING MONEY-- I I I I I Congratulations on 118 years of exemplary news reporting in the North End, East Boston, and surrounding communities of the City of Boston EAST BOSTON SOCIAL CENTERS, INC. JOHN F. KELLY, r Executive Director 68 Central Square East Boston, MA 02128 617-569-3221 Iappyjtlnniversartj Italia Unita, Inc. "Promoting Italian culture and the preservation of Italian heritage." 35 Bennington Street East Boston, MA 02128 Tel: (617) 561-3201 Fax: (617) 569-2898 Email: ItaliaU nita @ Trayvon's Death Brings Up Race Elephant in the Room "There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, liberals hailed the victory that we were now living in a post-racial America. How- ever, since his election, he has become a lightning rod for racial division. Every- thing he does or says seems to be viewed through the prism of race. Here we had a president who was bi- racial, a president raised by his white maternal grandpar- ents and we saw him attend- ing a church whose pastor's views certainly weren't close to post-racial anything. I grew up in the '50s and '60s in lower Roxbury, a ra- cially-mixed neighborhood consisting of Italian and Irish Americans and a grow- ing African-American com- munity. I was the first "Irish Giarratani" in my family. My brother met his wife in Roxbury and they married in 1968 which was not a time when biracial marriages were common place. On my mother's Irish side, I had an uncle who married a Latina from Puerto Rico and I had four Puerto Rican-Irish cous- ins growing up. My family background was for me the real expression of what it meant to be an American. -- President Barack Obama Lots of people in the Afri- can American community were upset with the verdict on George Zimmerman. They saw it as unjust because he killed an innocent 17-year- old young man. Did he tar- get Martin because he was black or wearing a hoodie? Did he go out looking for a black boy to shoot? What is racial profiling, is it by itself a hate crime? If racial profiling leads to the death of another human be- ing, is that a punishable crime? Was Zimmerman a racist with a gun on that fateful evening? Or was he just a crime watch member looking out for the safety of his community? If Trayvon had been white, would Zim- merman have acted any dif- ferently? Was justice not served by the not guilty ver- dict rendered by the jury of six women? Depending on the race of the person you ask, you are likely to get polar opposite answers. Many in the Black community say reaction in the African-Americans is based on 400 years of racism in this country. If you ask a white person, many say the (Continued on Page 13} r- @ The Pirandello f_.gceum Congratulates the POST-GAZETTE on its milestone anniversary and extends its sincere gratitude for the news which makes the Post-Gazette the Heart of the Italian-American Community in Boston. Rosario Cascio, President Frank Ciano, Esq., First Vice-President Maria Capogreco, Second Vice-President and Treasurer Dorothy Male, Corresponding Secretary Maria Luisa Saraceni, Recording Secretary Line Rullo, Scholarship Fund Executive Vincent Fazzolari, Scholarship Chairman Dr. Stephen F. Male, Chairman of the Board J PS. Philip's Salon Wishes You A Don't know what to give? Salon Gift Certificates are available as well as professional flat irons and blow dryers LLI PHILIP'S SALON 437 hanover street boston, ma 617.523.8356