You have to marvel at a culture that while is one of the hearts of Christianity, celebrates such a pagan custom in such a big way, Pan e Vin, as it is called in the Veneto. This was one of probably 5,000 fires (falò) last night throughout Northern Italy.
It’s what I’ve always loved about Italy and the Italians, their ability to bow to the institutions, while living their lives as they see fit. Thus the lowest birth rate in Europe.
As America becomes ever more about rules, the fight to whom writes those rules and intolerance for those who break them, Europe and Italy in particular, are still about life. Life as we have always lived it, for thousands of years, well before the church or various political institutions came into being and decided they know better how we should live. They tolerate those institutions and yes, even give respect to the new gods, yet know better than to clutter their lives with the minutiae of this and that, and understand that just as the old gods were replaced, so will be the new.
This tolerance is what first attracted me to Italy almost 40 years ago and as America has become more intolerant to virtually everything, except for lawyers, Italy and Europe continue living life as they have always, and thus the witch got burned last night, so we are safe for another year.