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New year celebrations in Barga

... to bang or not to bang, that is the question ...

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According to widespread superstition, evil spirits and the Devil himself hate loud noise.

In Italy and else where people celebrate on New Years Eve by making as much of a din as possible not just as an expression of joy at having a new year at their disposal, but also to make sure Old Scratch and his minions don’t stick around (Church bells are rung on a couple’s wedding day for the same reason.)

That centuries old tradition is now under attack as local mayors are trying to ban the use of fireworks on New years Eve as the loud bangs cause distress to dogs and other household pets.

In nearby Lucca the Mayor of Lucca has actually issued an official edict banned the use of fireworks which large fines for those who insist on celebrating the passing of the old year with loud bangs.

Here in Barga the Comune issued an official notice from the Mayor asking if people would refrain.

So far it would seem that the force of pagan tradition is far stronger than the desire to keep our pets comfortable and unmoved by the celebrations going on around them.

There were more Chinese lanterns floating up into the sky this year but the whole valley was filled with the sound of explosions as midnight came round.

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