Monday, June 11, 2012

Streets paved...with flowers

Sunday was one of my favorite days of the year - Corpus Domini.  Though Catholic, I guiltily confess it's not because of the religious significance of this important holiday, which commemorates and celebrates the joy and presence of Jesus Christ in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist.  It's mainly because of the incredible flower mosaics that weave through the streets and alleyways of Monterosso to celebrate the day.

There are many reasons given for the Italian tradition of creating flower mosaics on the streets for Corpus Domini - from Sicily to Lazio to Liguria - but my favorite is that the patterns, which almost always have religious significance, lead straight to the Church, in case anyone forgot.  It's like a beautiful but very pointed nudge.  The day ends almost globally with a procession of the priest and the faithful, as the lead the Eucharist to the Church, and another story tells that the tradition of the flower mosaics was to usher the sacrament into the Church with joy and beauty.

Either way, it's gorgeous and unique - the mosaics are intricate and take lots of planning.  First designed then sketched in chalk, hands of all ages take part in filling the outline in with flower petals, colored sand, coffee grinds, painted salt, rocks, twigs and so forth.  The final product is beautiful, and even more poignant when you remember that just a few months ago we didn't even have streets.

No comments:

Post a Comment