We brought in the new year in probably the strangest way I’ve ever experienced before – by watching a giant statue burn with a bunch of our friends. We and roughly 30,000 other residents and visitors of Bologna gathered in the main square, Piazza Maggiore, to witness the burning of Vecchione. It is a giant sculpture that is usually designed by artists that are either from Bologna or have some kind of connection to the city.
This year’s Vecchione very much resembled a traditional nutcracker so it would have made a lot of sense to me if the fire symbolized the end of Christmas. In fact, the burning of Vecchione actually symbolizes the leaving behind of the past year’s troubles, starting each new year fresh from the ashes.
While this take on it is way more meaningful, I do wish that there was some kind of symbolic end to Christmas since the mall downstairs hasn’t gotten the memo that it is now January and continues to play holiday music all day long.