There are two summer street festivities in our village, held on saints' days: one, Santa Libera, takes place at the top of the hill along the country lane, and the other, San Calogero, down at the lower end of the village. Because Rebecca has never been able remember which saint goes with which day, she's taken to calling the them the days of San Giù ("Saint Below") and San Su ("Saint Above"). This has become what we call them in our family.
We celebrated San Giù last week, gathering at the nearby chapel of San Calogero for the mass and procession, then having dinner together, passing around trays of food cooked by the village women and drinking the wine made by the men from the lumassina vines growing all over the local hills. This year San Giù was no different from all the celebrations we've attended, over the many years we've lived here. These are simple, traditional events that begin with chanting and praying, and end with chatting and sharing food - reminders of the importance of taking care of the soul and the community in one's life.