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Pignarûl ritual

On the 6th of January in the north east of Italy, people gather to celebrate the traditional fire ritual of Pignarûl, a huge pile of wood and whatever scrap biomass that can be burnt down, drinking hot spicy wine (vin brulé clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peels, brown sugar) and foreseeing the future year according to the direction of the smoke.

Yes indeed it's a wild thing: air quality drops down to very low standards in the area as you can definitely smell the smoke for that day. Surely not as bad as the terrible smokey season in southeast Asia, that turns out to be a serious detrimental practice for many weeks every year.

Besides this it's not just a smokey day really but it brings up ancient memories of the Celtic celebrations of the God of Light (Belanu), one of the main pagan divinities connected to farming cycles, weather patterns and seasons.

Not-so-many hundreds of years ago, sad local tales report also many people being burnt on these holy fire during the dark ages of witch hunting... namely, the times of brutal repression done by monotheism against native cultures.

Here we are looking at the fire.

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