Last night I went to a local version of this national festival in Italy, every year on Jan 5 they celebrate the New Year by burning off the last. Originally a pagan ritual it has been converted to Catholicism and it is a cross that tops the pyre, instead of an effigy of a witch....although it seems to have retained the original name. Also traditionally, cake and vin brulee (hot wine) are consumed to assist with the process...it's free too, so you can imagine the chaos at the points of access. I didn't take any photos of Italians behaving badly...they are supposed to donate to the poor too but don't. 1 Children get to light the pyre. 2 People like to be close to the action. 3 However at this point they did step back. 4 Starting to settle a little. 5 I love how the cold air affects thermals. 6 The crowd. 7 Time to get close again...it was minus 1° C, not that cold really. 8 Still a big fire. 9 The feasting goes on until the fire dies...we went home after this shot, picked up a pizza on the way as is was too difficult to get near the food here lol.