The traditional lighting of the “ceppone” of Saint Lucia in Sorrento on 13th December
In Sorrento there is a neighborhood that takes the name of a Saint in whose honor it was built a small church: Saint Lucy.
The district of Saint Lucia is located just steps from the main square of Sorrento, Tasso square. It’s an area away from the downtown traffic, but allows easy access to all places of interest of the City.
In the Neapolitan tradition, Saint Lucy is the patron saint of eyesight and is celebrated on December 13th to commemorate the date of hes death: December 13th 304. Every year, the day before the feast of Saint Lucy, there is the tradition among the inhabitants of the district, to light a “ceppone“. It is said ceppone a big tree stump that burning during the entire day dedicated to the Saint: the bonfire of Saint Lucy.
Where does this tradition? We know that almost all the Christians customs and traditions come from the pagan traditions of the time went. Even the tradition of “ceppone” of Saint Lucy in Sorrento is born to a pagan ritual. Before to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, the feast matched with the winter solstice that is the most “short” day of the year.
Is interesting that even with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar has remained a connection between the “light” and the celebration of the feast. On December 13th, in fact, is the day in which the sun sets earlier.
For the inhabitants of Sorrento the feast of Saint Lucia is a must. It’s a small fest with a few stalls, but with great sandwiches with sausage and broccoli and a good glass of wine to warm up in the cold pre-Christmas days.