Every June 24 in Turin you can see fireworks and celebration in honor of the patron saint of the city: San Giovanni. This is a common feast in many Italian cities, each has its own patron saint to be proud of, and everyone has their day of celebration.
Perhaps people feel itself a little more citizen of Turin, perhaps even those to whom the fireworks do not make any effect, they still sharing a moment of belonging to the city.
On June 24, is in fact the expected date on which in the town of Savoy, everything stops, you go down in the square and is a party. The feast of San Giovanni coincides with the pagan ritual of the summer solstice, a passage that leads the Earth from the lunar to the solar dominance, the shortest night of the year.
The rite was used basically to exorcise the fear of change, to cross what was considered a night full of energy: in the hills and mountains were lit fires to hunt demons and witches and prevent disease.
Photo Gallery: Fireworks of San Giovanni in Turin
It’s a typical Piedmontese belief that the fireworks of San Giovanni would serve to preserve the fruits of the earth, to ensure good harvests, protect from lightning, hail and livestock diseases.
Among the most curious rites of San Giovanni is to burn the old grass in the fireworks and gather new ones to know the future, to buy the garlic to make sure a good year, to collect a branch of fern at midnight and keep it at home to increase their earnings.
San Giovanni is the patron saint of Turin since practically forever. Since the Middle Ages Turin stopped in honor of the patron for two days, at that time citizens and farmers of the surrounding country flocked to witness the traditional running of the bulls in Borgo Dora.
The tradition was interrupted in mid-nineteenth century and revived in 1971 with fireworks, the fireworks in Piazza Castello, and the processions in the mask.
I had never made pictures of the fireworks, so I could not miss this opportunity. I am truly amazed by the potential of my new Canon 450D, it is amazing what you can achieve with a tripod and high ISO sensitivity.
Next time I will try to find out in Turin a better place to see the fireworks, for sure better than my balcony.
The digital revolution has totally changed for sure as I do the night shots also for the future, I hope many more shots will follow.
Turin has wonderful views of the night, images of the streets, the churches, all the monuments are lit up.