Throughout Italy, especially during the summer and fall months, it is common to happen upon a local “sagra”. A sagra is usually an entire weekend event created around the celebration of the earth’s abundance– highlighting what is locally made or grown. Wine made from a grape unique to that region, for example, or a typical seafood catch from a coastal town, or a particular mushroom, like the porcino that grows copiously in Castelpagano (BN) where our relatives live. Entire villages prepare for the sagra festivals for months prior to the actual occasion. The anticipation of fun and excitement coming to a normally quite village is a big deal. There is a chance to exchange a few words with new people, the opportunity to dance, laugh, make purchses, display the products of one’s own talents, and above all, acknowledge the affirmation of life and abundance.
To make it worth everyone’s while, this allegria, is accented with the addition of entertainment, music, artisan wares, and hundreds of homemade dishes that incorporate the food or beverage that is being heralded. People are drawn from near and afar to join into the celebration of the sagra.
This warm weather leaves you with no excuse not to go to your local Italian festivale. Check your local listings for summer happenings, usually sponsored by churches or Italian clubs. That is one way to enjoy some of the sagra experience wherever you may live.
Another way is to locate your favorite public picnic area, invent a theme (eg, “locally grown zucchini”and send an e-vite to your circle of family and friends, asking them to come to your zucchine “sagra” and bring a dish made with that ingredient. Find out who, among your network sings (perhaps with a karaoke machine or portable keyboard), and let people know they can bring their special crafts to sell or exchange amongst each other. You can make this as large a gathering as you wish (within the limits of the area), and enjoy a bit of Italian-style allegria of your own.
—Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner, Ph.D.
Personal Development Educator
BLOG: http://raeleenmautner.com (Check out my EVENTS and EBOOKS sections for lots of great opportunities)
RADIO SHOW:”The Art of Living Well” on WNHU 88.7FM Mondays at 7AM
MEETUP GROUP LEADER: http://www.meetup.com/Lemons-into-Limoncello/
AUTHOR: “Living la Dolce Vita” (Amazon, B & N, and wherever books are sold)– and the upcoming: “Lemons into Limoncello” (HCI)