Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saint Conrad's Festival, part 2

There are many elements that put together make up the patron saint's festival in Molfetta. A large portion of the harbour area is taken over by stands selling just about everything you can imagine, from clothes to African drums to cheap toys guaranteed to last just till you get them home. There is a carnival with rides and games of skill and chance.

But the key event is the procession that carries the statue of the Madonna of the Martyrs from her home church along the harbour to the main jetty. There she is loaded onto three fishing boats that have been tied together and is carried around the harbour accompanied by anyone and everyone who has some sort of vessel that floats: motorboats, sailboats, jetskis, rowboats, dinghies, you name it. The main objective is to yell and blow your boat's horn as long and loud as you can.

On board the three boats carrying the statue are all the friends and family of the boat owners, plus priests, monks, a band and dozens of young men who pass the time by diving off the boat into the fetid waters of the harbour!

The Madonna is led around the port for several hours before the boats dock at the other end and she is lovingly unloaded and carried to the Cathedral where she rests until the following Sunday when yet another procession carries her back home to her own church.

Everyone gets decked out for the event...including the buildings!

8 comments:

Benjamin Madison said...

Thanks for sharing this festival with us. The photos are delightful. Bravo Molfetta!

JM said...

The green windows and all the flags on the buildings really give a great touch of colour to the picture! Very nice!

Fern Driscoll said...

Isn't it great when the statues are released from their stuffy churches for their annual outing? And how lucky is your Maria, to go tooling around the harbor - sounds like great fun for all concerned.

USelaine said...

Thanks for the great description of the festival - how careful they must be, not to damage the statue or make any wrong moves!

Lynette said...

Thanks for the Saint Conrad's Festival information. I like this photo, too. Can you imagine how difficult a jigsaw puzzle it would make? It's so clear, like yesterday's, that I can easily imagine that I'm seeing these sights in person.

I will try to get a photo of the building with the sun's reflection at a different time of day, on a weekend soon when I'm not at work. That's a very good idea. Thanks.

Saretta said...

Benjamin - my pleasure!

jm - The flags are put out for the festival, but those green shutters are always there...and you see that same color on 90% of the buildings in town!

Fern - I like that image of getting the Madonna out for some fresh air!

Elaine - I have always wondered at the precision necessary to get her safely on the boat, but they do it quite easily!

Lynette - I like the jigsaw puzzle idea!

LaGrasta said...

This building happens to be one of the homes where members of my family live. From this photo, their unit is on the left.
As for the green shutters... Yes, the entire city has green shutters! I immediately noticed this upon my arrival to Molfetta.

Ming the Merciless said...

Wooohooo! There IS a St. Conrad!!

I googled St. Conrad and it came up with two: St. Conrad of Piacenza and St. Conrad of Parzham. :-)

I think St. Conrad of Parzham is a nicer guy so he'll be my patron saint.