30 June 2009

San Severo - la Madonna del soccorso

This is the annual run of the bulls for San Severo but instead of bulls they line the streets with strings of very mean firecrackers and occasional bits of what must be TNT (they even managed to make a small wall collapse this year) at the approximate hight of a human head. The hight is important when you add the fact that townsfolk are supposed to run en masse in front of the explosions in effort to not get burned or maimed. The fuochi, literally meaning "fires," are the main attraction of the celebrations and this fact has not settled well with the local bishop, who would like the attention to be refocused on the namesake of the events, that is the Virgin Mary. But when this fine gentleman began insisting a couple years ago that the city do away with the explosives the citizens responded with the an iron fist. For several days the bishop couldn't leave his house without getting beat up. So the explosives stayed and the bishop stayed quiet.

The fuochi featured in these videos were some of the first to be set off and consequently they were also some of the tamest. Nevertheless they still managed to shake us to our core and make our ears bleed slightly.

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