Palermo, 18 Marzo 2018.
The boys are busy gathering wood for their neighborhood blaze, a mountain of old things to burn but also a primitive architecture to build and a tower to observe from. Their fire is the highest in Palermo and nobody can turn it off because the oranges are ammunition and the boys are ready to fight.
The ritual of “vampa di San Giuseppe”, coinciding with the transition from winter to spring, is a testimony of the passage of pagan elements absorbed by the territory and made significant according to the Christian cult. The fire represents the destruction of all that anguishes the community, but it is also a regenerator, a promoter of the welfare of crop and man. This ancient practice is poised between tradition and legality, being considered dangerous for the city. For this reason it is carried out by underage boys, who can't be prosecuted.