|Zona Visora e Destre|
Yesterday went to Conflenti (where my family is from) for the most popular annual festival: La Madonna della Quercia (a festival dedicated to Mary and a vision someone had of her decades ago near the Quercia tree (an oak tree) next to the church). People come from all over Italy and the world to celebrate it.
Apart from all the markets stalls, music, dancing, hourly church services and eating, the procession was the highlight. It involved carrying a massive statue of the Madonna (Mary) carrying the Baby Jesus and holding her open breast, on a circle around the village with a couple hundred people following in front and behind. I had the camera and filmed the whole thing, weaving through the crowds, running up hill to get high shots, getting near to the statue getting close-ups of the pained faces of the men holding the idol up, walking behind to get the marching band with their brass instruments, the alter boys and girls carrying incense and singing, the priest and his possy, the members of the council, and the onlookers. By the time I got back to our group I was sweating and looked slightly deranged- but so satisfied.