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 during 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.
For the past decade that has been a small “revolution” in the way these images are created – the inclusion of white flour in some of the designs added another dimension to some of the designs which became almost painterly in execution.
The inclusion of coloured sawdust has added to the possibilities making the designs even more adventurous.
Click on the link below to hear (in Italiano) a brief description of the Corpus Domini event.