Gl’ Cierv - The Deer
As the sun begins to set over the mountain tops in the small town of Castel Nuovo Di Volturno the drums begin to roll and a band of deer and huntsmen march into the main square.
There in front of a roaring fire throwing sparks across the spectators, the ritual killing of the old stag takes place, primaeval screams fill the air.
Here in the midst of Southern Italian, another remarkable festival takes place as it has done for centuries, even its origins are uncertain.
Based on the story of Dionysus who was torn to shreds then reborn to symbolize the passage of winter into spring both man and child still continue to act out their version of this ancient tale
The scenes now are really not that different than they would have been a hundred or more years ago, although the assembled throng of onlookers will have certainly travelled from further afield, and the music which fills the air is amplified by speakers.
Here too just like any festival here in Southern Italy as the characters drift away the story having been told for another year food plays an important part and everyone tucks in bowls of steaming polenta and sausage washed down by copious amounts of beer.
Castel Nuovo Di Volturno has seen the rebirth of another year