Saturday, September 21, 2013

Equinox Celebration in San Giovanni in Bragora, Tonight

The official title of this event was Sogno di una notte di fine estate: Equinozio in Bragora (or An End-of-Summer Night's Dream: Equinox in Bragora), and the weather cooperated completely, supplying a singularly beautiful evening poised perfectly between summer and fall, with the warm clear stillness of the former and just a hint of cool humidity settling upon the proceedings gently as a benediction as the night wore on in one of the city's most appealing campi.

There were events throughout the day, beginning with the construction of a meridian for kids at noon, live music, more activities for kids, then the construction of a maze made out of votive lights, which turned out, as one followed it, to be far more involved than it appeared at first glance. We arrived for the open-air dinner--cibi dalla via della seta (food from the silk road)--and Hindustani classical music by Angelo Sorato and Fabio Lazzarin, with the dancer Marianna Biadene (pictured above and below).

Sando turned out to be completely mesmerized by the latter, and only returned to the votive light maze when Ms Biadene finished her performance. By that time a lot of other people, of all ages, were winding their way along its path--and, sometimes, running, which was distinctly discouraged. Though, as you can see in the photo at the bottom of the page, the urge was often too great for some people to resist.

The votive light maze being laid out in early evening
Events in the Campo of San Giovanni in Bragora marking the changing of the seasons have become regular occurrences now, and I've greatly enjoyed each one I've attended--and would whole-heartedly recommend them. Only today, however, did I find out from the organizer of the events themselves the logic behind them, which is, after all, rather obvious (though it had never occurred to me).

For as you can see in the photo at the top of this page, there is a plaque upon the front of the church of San Giovanni in Bragora noting the fact that this was the church in which Antonio Vivaldi, composer of The Four Seasons, was baptized. The inspiration to mark the changing of each season in this particular campo is as simple as that.

People wait in line at the food tent at right, while others enjoy live entertainment
There was much more to come after the Hindustani music concluded--Tango from Argentina, artisans from India, and African dance--but the program was running behind schedule and we didn't stay for it. We dragged Sandro out of the maze--in which he seemed quite ready to stay, like the Minotaur of Greek myth, for the rest of his days--and headed home to bed. We had plans for the next day and had to get up early.

But that will be the subject of my next post.

The votive light maze might have made a pleasant place to practice walking meditation--but not with a couple of speed demons like the above around


  1. Oh, I'm so glad you went to this, and reported back to us. Darn, now I have to time my visits to occur with a change of season!

    1. Thanks for the heads up about this, Yvonne, as it was a reminder of me not to dare miss it!

  2. Wow, what a fantastic event along with great reporting! Will there be a solstice event? Y, you need to arrive sooner!

    1. After talking to one of the organizers it seems likely there will be a solstice event, Susie, though he said the last one they did was quite cold. But he said they construct fire pits for warmth that don't damage the campo's pavement so I'm looking forward to it. And, yes, I do need to arrive earlier and, more importantly, stay later!