Sagra del Fuoco

Odds and ends about Sagra del Fuoco PDF Stampa E-mail

The celebrations honouring Our Lady of Intercession commit the whole town that on this occasion splits into seven quarters dating back to the eighteenth century.

The solemn coronation of the Madonna took place on 8th September 1824 and was carried out by Cardinal Lambruschini, but Our Lady had been worshipped by our elders for ages as Patron and Protector of Recco. The inhabitants of Recco that had emigrated to America brought along their devotion and on the fest day they used to send donations.

It is remembered that the old sailships from Recco were named “Our Lady of Intercession” and kept the holy image on board.

On 8th Spetember at 3.30 am the quarters greet the birth of Virgin Mary with traditional salutes of guns after which there is the dawn mass.

During the war and in the first years of the rebuilding of Recco, the feast has always taken place, in spite of all the problems. The feast celebrating Our Lady has helped the rebirthing of everyday life and the quarter people, to make up the money for the fireworks, went to remove the rubble from the rebuilding yards.

In 1974, on the 150th anniversary of the coronation of Our Lady of Intercession, the quarters carried out gunshots and fireworks in their own places for the last time. In fact the following year the fireworks were moved to the sea front for safety motives due to the expansion of the town.

On 24th April 1960 the statue of Our Lady took part with a huge group of members of the Brotherhood to a pilgrimage of the Ligurian Brotherhoods to the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, and to an audience with Pope John XXIII.

In the first years after World War II in Recco there was the firework factory of “Carlitto” Mosto. He, “Manuelo” Leverone from Cicagna and the firm Garbarino were the firework masters until the sixties, when the Neapolitan tradition took over. The firm Garbarino was owned by a woman called “Pissetti” (Lace) because her underwear was full of lace.

The first time that Antimo Perfetto came to Recco to shoot for San Martino quarter, he arrived from Naples in an old Balilla car loaded with fireworks, to everybody's surprise.

Among the firework masters that worked for Recco longer we must remember the Basilico brothers who brought to Liceto, at the beginning on the Seventies, the school of Abruzzo. This consisted of bombs with a great coregraphic effect but of small bore, so the people of the other quarters nicknamed them “tube fireworks”.

Another firework master that shot for almost 25years for Spiaggia quarter is Raffaele Liccardo from Mugnano, who was nicknamed “Cacaglia” because he had a stutter.

Since 1990 the Ligurian firework tradition has a new heir: Carlo Ferreccio from Recco, a former pupil of Carlitto Mosto, who now carries on, among difficulties, this noble art.

The Firework Feast brings every year to Recco thousands of fans from all over Italy and in 2000 the Committee of Quarters awarded a prize to the dean of followers, Don Antonio ‘e Marianella, or better Antonio De Rosa, who has seen all our fireworks without interruption since 1950. He's a great expert in fireworks and his judgements are feared by all the firework masters. “…Recco is a great shop-window. The fire master that makes a mistake knows that the following year he won't be called again…”

One of the lost traditions was to lighten the windows with oil lamps made with painted glasses that made the streets gorgeous.

In 1999, on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the coronation, the people of the quarters brought on their shoulders the silver chest of Our Lady in procession as far as the parish church, as it had been done in 1824.

In 2000 on the meeting of the Ligurian Brotherhoods in Genoa, the people of the Quarters brought Our Lady on their shoulders through the streets of Genoa from the Basilica of Carignano to the Ancient Port, passing by the Cathedral of San Lorenzo.

Among the 140 “firework attendants” from Recco that in 2001 got the licence from the prefecture of Genoa, necessary to shoot the “mascoli”, the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 76. There are also 12 girls of different ages.



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