Every Apulian has a clear and immediate reaction when he or she hears the word "luminarie": it is a bell that activates happy memories in a harmonious and dazzling triumph of lights and colours playing to the rhythm of music and the smell of sweet almonds and nougat on the streets.
Between the sacred and the profane, the luminarie lights are the eternal symbol of the South, which celebrates its traditions with luminous structures that "cover" churches, villages, and streets during the days of the patron saint and the town fairs. Under the light of the luminarie, people meet, celebrate and feel at home. Their symbolic meaning is very precious: the light becomes the protagonist of the festivity, a beauty that dazzles and makes everyone happy. And all this beauty is so evident that fashion and design have also noticed it: the latest Dolce & Gabbana campaign shot by Luca and Alessandro Morelli under the luminarie of San Nicola in Bari, for example
or the luminarie designed by Seletti as furnishing items.
Luminarie on Mest Decor
For its special selection of Apulian Home Décor, Mest has chosen exclusively handcrafted luminaries, unique pieces produced by De Cagna Luminarie, a company famous all over the world for its art. De Cagna deals with the luminarie all around Puglia, but also in Japan, Korea, Spain and in the world of the purest design with home décor items for interior and exterior, that you can find on Mest online shop.
Tradition blends with contemporary furniture: the symmetries of the southern town luminarie enter the houses and your heart skips a beat, whether you are from Puglia or a lover of beauty and innovative design elements.
The structures between design and craft details
The traditional luminarie are the result of an intricate weave of wooden elements and metal tie rods carefully made by artisans during the patron saint's festivities around Southern Italy. In daylight you can admire their incredibly complex structure: everyone, at least once in their lives, have naively wondered how these outstanding structures can stand there, stationary, solemn and brilliant. And yet, what for us is a magic of light bulbs for local craftsmen it is a work made of experience, study and centuries-old traditions. Each luminaria is the result of the repetition of elements with specific names: espaliers, arches, rose windows, galleries and the ever-present sound box, made up of star-shaped structures, tulips, sheets, hexagons and four-leaf clovers, only to mention a few. These are the elements that have inspired a new life beyond traditions: stars and tulips enter homes and furniture with naturalness and colour.
All the baroque structures of the luminarie are first created as simple drawings on paper and like a huge scenography they come to life in three dimensions after a very careful design; the poles are fixed, those of De Cagna in fir, then, they are painted white to better reflect the light, and then it's time for the coloured bulbs. In the beginning the bulbs were small glasses of oil, whose wicks were lit one by one before the festival, then came the carbides and finally, at the end of '800, electricity and the regular structures of light bulbs.
Each single bulb is painted by master craftsmen, and then baked in the oven to fix the colour and make it shine. The colours are part of the tradition: warm or cold white, blue, red, green, yellow, golden yellow, pink, purple alternated in regular and harmonic series.
The luminarie artists are quite atypical craftsmen: first of all they are designers and scenographers, but in need they also become carpenters and electricians, carefully installing one by one all the light bulbs as if they were precious gems. Nothing can go wrong when the lights are on, so nothing is left to chance. The lighting of the luminarie is the mystical and profane moment par excellence. Everyone applauds; the smiling faces reflect their colours and special effects. Now the festivity can begin.
The luminarie of Mest collection are handmade in Puglia by De Cagna Luminarie; they can be used both inside and outside, are customizable and each of them is a unique piece of great value. After the purchase, each piece is handmade especially for you and delivered within 15 days.
Storia delle luminarie di Scorrano - Cultura Salentina
La Puglia e le luminarie: festa di luci e devozione cristiana - VentiPerQuattro
Photo credits: Mest