San Lorenzo, the night of the shooting stars is here and with it the desire to scan the sky and wait for the right moment to make a wish becomes stronger and stronger. In short, Italy is preparing to celebrate from north to south a tradition that involves adults and children alike.
The origins of this anniversary
Which Story What’s behind the date on August 10th? The origins of this anniversary are Christian and worrying the martyrdom of San Lorenzo, one of Pope Sixtus II’s deacons. It is said that Emperor Valerian issued an edict in August 258 AD that all bishops, presbyters and deacons should be executed. Pope Sixtus II was surprised when he celebrated the Eucharist in the catacombs of Praetextatus and was killed along with four of his deacons. Among them was Lorenzo, who was burned alive on a barbecue on August 10th. It is said that at the moment of his death, the shooting stars took on a form very similar to the burning embers that had tormented the saint, becoming for all “tears of heaven”, which were also later taken up by Pascoli in the poem “X Agosto” .
Today we know that What we mistakenly call “shooting stars” are actually meteors, visible at this time because the Earth passes through the Perseid swarm in mid-AugustDebris from comet Swift-Tuttle, discovered in 1862 and whose last passage dates back to 1992.
The experts of the Turin Planetarium: To see the stars, look for the “shining one”
The peak of the phenomenon will occur between the 12th and 13th, probably at dawn on the 13th, which corresponds to favorable conditions on the moon. To be able to enjoy the show to the fullest Position yourself in a location with dark skiesSince the location is not affected by light pollution, it is advisable to choose a point with wide visibility to be able to observe the meteor shower in all its glory. Another useful tip from the experts at the Turin Planetarium is identification The “radiant” is the point from which the meteors appear to originate, which in the case of the Perseids is in the constellation Perseus. “If you observe many meteors from this shower,” they write from the planetarium, “you can notice that they are flying in all directions, but coming from a single region of the sky. The point from which the meteors appear to originate is called the radiant, and is located in the constellation Perseus. However, the constellation has nothing to do with shooting stars: it is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs about 100 kilometers above the Earth. The stars that make up the constellations are located billions of kilometers from Earth.” In August, to the northeast below Cassiopeia, is the constellation Perseus, a constellation shaped like an inverted “M.” Given the special conditions of this year’s moon, it is also advisable to look for meteors just before sunrise and wait in the dark for at least 10 minutes to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark situation.
Events and celebrations throughout Italy
The festival of August 10th has always been a popular celebration among Florentines. In the past, the ceremony began with the mass celebrated by the prior at San Lorenzo, at which the saint’s relics were displayed to the public and the blessing was given in Florence before the ombudsman. Today, this anniversary is seen as an opportunity for the community to come together and meet. They gather in Piazza San Lorenzo for the traditional distribution of watermelon and lasagna and wait for the classical music concert organized in the churchyard.
In Rome The initiatives are numerous and extremely diverse. Roma World in Cinecittà is equipped with telescopes and telescopes so that its guests can admire the Perseid swarm up close. In Santa Severa, a few kilometers from the capital, in agreement with the Mic and the municipality, it will be possible to gaze at the stars by the sea between the alleys and squares of the Castle of Santa Severa, a town in the Lazio region of Santa Marinella.
For those who live in Emilia RomagnaHowever, the region also organizes, among other things, night hikes for picnics in the middle of nature; An example of this is the evening walk with tasting in the square of the Castello di Serravalle (Bo), among the vineyards of the first hills of the Apennines, with tasting of local wines.
In Trent The MUSE science museum lends its powerful telescopes and astronomical expertise to decipher the summer sky. A journey between planets and constellations: It starts at 9 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. and beyond.
In Sardinia In the province of Oristano there is a community of around 400 inhabitants who come together on August 10 for the celebrations in honor of San Lorenzo Martire: in Mogorella, between dancing, singing and good food, two consecutive days are dedicated to the patron saint of the little ones that takes place in the city center instead of.