the “Maggio” of Accettura

il Maggio di Accettura – In the small village of Accettura, in the south of Italy, every year, starting in the fog of ages, takes place an ancient rite representing the wedding of two trees… On the day of Pentecost, the inhabitants of the village go to a wood nearby, choose a tall and straight bitter oak, cut it and clean it from all branches. This year the tree measured 27 meters. After a few days at three days from the party several couples of oxen bred specially brought to the woods to carry the trunk to the edge of the village. Other men in the country, usually younger and more powerful, go to another woodland on the opposite side of the country and choose and cut a high and branched holly that will be brought to the shoulder for ten miles separating the forest from the village. While the bitter oak, said Maggio, represents the groom this holly will make the bride. The two procession carrying the two trees meet in the village to make acquaint the bride and groom then the two trees separate and are positioned in two specific points of the country. Meanwhile in an amphitheater at the center of the village are built, according to rules that are passed on from generation to generation, wood machines that will serve to lift the Maggio. In the village, meanwhile, there are processions of saints and women carrying over their head very heavy structures made of candles. Finally, the day of the feast, the holly is grafted over the oak to make an unique tree of 30 meters. Using the wood machine the now complete Maggio is raised up and then the bravest men of the village climb the tall tree and make dangerous acrobatics.

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