San Lucchese celebration

On April 28th Poggibonsi dresses up to celebrate the Patron Saint of the town, San Lucchese, who became saint thanks to a life inspired by humility, faith and assistance towards others.
After a military career, which brought him inside the factional struggles that were hitting Tuscany,
Lucchese, born in the Poggibonsi’s village of Gaggiano around 1181, was getting closer to religion and started to observe the precepts of Francis of Assisi, becoming his devout follower.
On April 28th 1260 Lucchese and Buonadonna, his wife, unified by love on earth, were called on the same day to be part of the heavenly Church.
The woman, bedridden with fever, begged her husband, octogenarian and already ill, to call their confessor, monk Ildebrando, who saw the death of Lucchese few hours later of his wife’s one.
During the funeral a miracle happened because, despite the storm, the rain did not wet neither coffins nor people.
The day consacrated to the saint, beyond being full of joy and celebration, ends with the long-awaited firework show but what makes this event particular and unmissable is the importance of its eve, April 27th.
According to the tradition, children and youngsters, divided on the basis of their district, gathered in the city’s squares piles of wood, collected in previous days, with the aim to create the biggest and highest tower, that they would have ignited to enjoy the warmth in the happy and shared waiting of the following day.
This very old tradition, banned some years ago, had its roots in pagan rites which celebrated the rural death and rebirth and matches, curiously, with the Beltane’s festivity, a celtic celebration of Spring’s beginning, that is rebirth, with fire protagonist once again.