Every year, sixty days after Easter, the Church celebrates “Corpus Domini”: a religious solemnity in honour of the Eucharist (the ‘body’ – corpus – of Christ in the sacramental sign of bread): an observance that first developed in Italy the thirteenth century and in 1263 was extended by Pope Urban IV to all of Christian Europe.
In Barga as elsewhere, from that period the feast has been celebrated in solemn fashion, with a majestic candlelit procession in which the Eucharistic bread is borne through the city streets in a glass container know as a ‘monstrance’, which allows people to see the consecrated bread wafer.
Petals are arranged in patterns, quite often featuring hearts, on the streets the procession will pass through on its way up to the Duomo. This year the inclusion of white flour in some of the designs has added another dimension to some of the designs which are now almost painterly in execution.
Click on the link below to hear (in Italiano) a brief description of the Corpus Domini event.