The small town of Nola, on the opposite side of Mount Vesuvius from Naples, each year stages a famous and unusual folkloric festival. The Gigli of Nola involves the construction of huge wooden obelisks or 'Giglio', very heavy and adorned with imaginative and artistic papier-mâché coverings. The most significant represents the boat in which Saint Paul returned from the Holy Land. The Gigli and the boat are carried on the shoulders of the men of the town, a 'paranza' numbering about 120. Guided by a sort of conductor, they make the Gigli dance, rotate and advance, in accompanied by fanfares and traditional neapolitan music. The entire event, with participants in historic and traditional costume is accompanied by much music. The attendant celebrations of Gigli di Nola continue late into the night.
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