Ritual of the Stoppo

An ancient and fascinating ritual is still performed in Lucca every 14th September: the “incendio della stoppa” (the fire of the oakum).

Lucca, in fact, has the privilege of the ritual fire of the oakum during the festivity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which is liturgically celebrated in Saint Martin’s cathedral. The ritual is a symbol of the vanity of all the worldly things ­ "sic transit gloria mundi"­ and it is reminiscent of what used to happen during the coronation ceremony of the Emperor of the Eastern Roman empire and during the investiture of the Pope.

14th September 2014