L'Infiorata, Saturday Night-Sunday Early Morning
Tourists descend on Spello on Sunday morning to witness the glorious carpets of flowers that line the main streets and piazzas of the town. But come Saturday night to very early Sunday morning to watch the work in action to get a whole different layer of this unique celebration. Work begins at sundown on Saturday before Corpus Domini, though in reality, work has been happening behind the scene for months. Flowers have been picked, depetaled, and dried; patterns have been created; the food has been planned. But Saturdy afternoon the templates are rolled out, or the designs are chalked directly onto the street. And in the evening, the flower begin to go down. No adhesive of any kind may be used, so to watch a design move from a two dimensional temple to a vibrant artistic tapestry is glorious. Workers take a break around midnight for dinner, and continue working with breaks for snacks and shots of espresso all night long. As the sun rises, the pace becomes frantic, as workers race to complete their tapestries before the judging, and the procession in which the priest will walk upon the infiorate. And then the final breath...finished. Saturday night is a whole different feeling than the feeling of Sunday. Saturday is about community, group participation as everyone from children to the elderly is part of the work, and intense focus. Being witness to this evening of work and unity adds a layer of grace to Sunday's glorious display.
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