Sunday, September 26, 2010

Italian: fiaccolata; English: candlelight vigil

The Italian word fiaccolata is derived from the Italian noun fiàccola (femminile: feminine), meaning torch or flare. Fiaccolata means torchlight procession or candlelight vigil. Such events take place in Italy, for example, to commemorate and honor assassinated anti-Mafia citizens and politicians [1]. Another example is the Fiaccolata da Solferino a Castiglione, an event born in May 1992, commemorating the nurses who, in 1859, took injured soldiers from the battlefield of Solferino to the first medical outpost in Castiglione [2] and, by doing so, were “giving birth” to Henry Dunant's idea of neutral medics and the corresponding international humanitarian movement known to everyone as the International Red Cross.

[1] Joshua Hammer: Defying the Godfather. Smithsonian October 2010, Volume 41, Number 6, pp. 37-47. In Sciliy, Defying the Mafia.
[2] The Story of the batthe of Solferino (24 June 1859).

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