I already wrote last year about the lovely Christmas Market taking place in central Italy (Candelara), mostly known for the many candles displayed.
Those of you who know me a bit, also know that I am fond of rites. So, last Saturday our family attended again the event ‘Candele a Candelara’ wandering through the stalls and enjoying the sight (and sweet fragrance) of hand-made candles: beeswax candles, scented candles, Christmas candles, candles made with pressed flowers or fruit (mostly oranges).
One craftsman attracted my attention: Paolo Cardinali, a beekeeper who creates candles using pure beeswax. His candles have the sweetest perfume. Maybe because, as he writes, he works hard to create natural products and he believes that by doing so he is contributing to a better world.
The little hilltop village of Candelara turns into real magic when during the event, soon after sunset, all electrical lights are turned off and the only illumination you get is provided by candles.
Last Saturday we mainly went there to attend the Bagpipe concert performed by the excellent Bazzano Castle Pipe Band, a band of bagpipes and percussion (Scottish pipes but Italian players!) where a very good friend of mine plays.
In Italy we are not used to the beautiful and powerful sound of bagpipes (no wonder they were used in regiments of the British Armed Force until World War I). The humbler ‘zampogna’ (Italian double chantered pipe) is a more familiar sound to us living in central Italy. We did see two ‘zampogna’ players in Candelara and they are portrayed in the picture below. With all due respect, if I had been a zampogna player I think I would have not showed up knowing a bagpipe band was invited too 😉
If you wish to know more about the event: here is the full programme (the initiative takes place on week-ends until Dec. 11th).