May 1, 2007
“Now is the month of Maying, when merrie lads are playing
Each with his bonnie lass upon the greenie grass.
Fa-la-la . . . .” 16th C. Madrigal
May Day is simply another day at the office in the USA but it is a holiday throughout all of Europe. The Church could never quite figure out how to get in front of this particular pagan celebration (young women dancing around the Maypole–you don’t need a Joseph Campbell to explain that one). Anyway, according to my Italian calendar which lists a saint for every day of the year, today’s saint is San Giuseppe Artigiano. And since artigiano means craftsman in Italian, this morphed into an equivalent of our Labor Day (Festa del Lavoro). Or maybe it was the other way around and the church created the saint day after the fact. Whatever.
Since Sarnano is totally bereft of heavy industry, I doubt seriously if I will see many trade union parades. Instead, this morning the streets, piazzas, gelaterias and bars will be filled with locals and any number of invading modern day Romans who will have taken the opportunity for a “ponte” or bridge, a sort of manufactured 4-day weekend. (If I’m off on Saturday and Sunday anyway and Tuesday is a holiday, why bother to show up for work on Monday?)
Now, back to work. (back)