Monday, September 1, 2014

the festival that created a parish

A parish is a community in Christ. Parish communal activities help form and bind people, traditions are carried to the future, and people reminisce. This festival pre-dates the official founding of the parish. Saint Rocco's Day is 16 August, but in Noicattoro Bari on the Adriatic it is celebrated on the first Sunday of September.

Does anyone else have such a parish activity as a greasy pole climb on Labor Day? There is a world beyond Cleveland, and i think this is the funnest; although the excitement was higher last year.

This year, ten teams of five men, three full rounds, and no winner. The participants become a human ladder. Thighs become footholds, belts are handholds, and up you go (sometimes with a helping push). The closest was a man on the ninth team, on the third try, made two swipes at the vortex of the 'v' brace, and less than a hand short.

The pole was slathered with thick red (this year) grease. During the hot, and sunny afternoon, globs of grease tumbled down the pole. The grease had some fluidity, and therefore slicker.

Because it was the centennial year of the fest, from the crossbar hung two cheeses, a salami, plastic bagged bread, and a fiasco of chianti.

Usually, even in festivals past, this altar is for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Saint Rocco (Rochus, Rok, Roque) is there now. Santo Rocco is shown as a pilgrim. He is wounded, and while injured a dog brought him food. The Hand of God mosaic to the right is from St. Louis Cleveland Heights (one of the parishes extiguished by Richard Lennon).
The parish knows it is Labor Day, and the words of Jesus. "Come To Me, all you that labor..."

 and she said, "get your own dinner"
it's over, no winner

1 comment:

  1. Hey I made it there this year as well! I'll have an updated review by tomorrow (it was my first greasy pole climb experience). :-)