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Festivals of Western Europe

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Author Topic: Festivals of Western Europe  (Read 3227 times)
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2009, 01:28:09 pm »

SINT PIETER (Saint Peter) June 29

    In some rural areas peasants recall Saint Peter's martyrdom by building bonfires. Nowadays the custom is gradually disappearing, but some years ago children trundled wheelbarrows from farm to farm in the neighborhood and begged wood for Saint Peter's fires.

    Old and young joined in building the fires, lighted in remembrance of the fire before which Saint Peter warmed himself when he denied Jesus. As flames leaped high, the children danced in a ring, singing:

Saint Peter, come and join us
In our circle of joy.

    Often people light candles on this night and say the rosary in commemoration of Saint Peter.

    Since Saint Peter is patron of fishermen the ceremony of Blessing the Sea is performed each year at Ostend, Blankenberge and other seaport towns, on the Sunday following the saint's day. All fishermen, mariners and others who are exposed to the dangers of water participate in the ceremonies. Following mass a procession of clergy, church dignitaries and seamen carry votive offerings, flowers and garlands to the shore. Then the priests enter the boats and go out to bless the waves.

BOETPROCESSIE VAN VEURNE (Procession of Penitence), in Furnes (Veurne), province of West Flanders Last Sunday in July

    It is said that the annual Procession of Penitence at Furnes originated in 1099, when the Crusader, Count Robert II of Flanders, returned from Jerusalem with a fragment of the True Cross.

    Today's solemn procession features episodes from the Passion story. Some are dramatized by actors playing the parts of various Old and New Testament characters; others by carved wooden figures, mounted on platforms and carried on the shoulders of penitents.

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