Tradition

What is Your Secret? - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Secrets, something that must stay out of light, are no exception in the dark age of Medieval time. As the late physician Paul Tournier put it, “Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” This may have explained why so many secrets have been exposed with the promise of keeping it such when shared.

Secrets-at-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)

Secrets-at-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)

On the day of the Giostra del Saracino in Arezzo, Italy, when the final parade made its way to the Cathedral and the knights from four competing districts waited to be blessed by the Bishop of the city, I witnessed human urge to tell secrets. After all, the Lancia d’Oro (golden spear) is at stake. In my book, the higher the prize, the more juice. :-)

Secrets-at-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)

Secrets-at-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)

So, what is your secret? By the way, no point in keeping it from others because “if you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself” (George Orwell, 1984).

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Knights, Dames and More in Foligno, Italy - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

They say it’s in the air. I call it ambiance that I can smell with eyes. In about two weeks, an ancient Italian town of Foligno will be where your eyes meet good-looking Dame and Messeri.

Historical-Parade-before-Giostra-della-Quintana-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Historical-Parade-before-Giostra-della-Quintana-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

To put out such a medieval setting is no walk in the park. But, I can attest that final touch-ups proved to be fruitful.

Final-Details-Before-the-Historical-Parade-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Final-Details-Before-the-Historical-Parade-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Tidying-Up-Before-the-Historical-Parade-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Tidying-Up-Before-the-Historical-Parade-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Can you believe this much fuss has to do with horses? If you allow me a chance, I can explain.

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It's fire, It's Good Fire at Setsubun in Japan - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Don’t panic, this is not what you think and I can explain.

Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)[4383]

Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)[4383]

Remember the last time I shared an experience where praying, burning and bean throwing is involved in Japan? Well, I thought I’d come back to finish what I started, the burning part.

As Setsubun signifies the beginning of a year (end of winter and beginning of spring), it’s customary for people to drive away the evils and wish for good luck for the coming year. Here at the UNESCO heritage site of Shimogamo-Jinja (下鴨神社), offerings and amulets are sent, along with the flames, to the great power above, in the chanting of priests.

Priests-Chanting-in-Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)[4381]

Priests-Chanting-in-Fire-Ceremony-Setsubun-Shimogamo-Jinja-Kyoto-Japan-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)[4381]

What other cultures/civilizations does fire have a significant role in rituals/ceremonies? Share in the Facebook box below so we can all learn.

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