Every solstice and equinox, a group of universal-minded Italians hold a Solstice Ceremony at the Temple of Apollo in Lago Averno. The ceremony is well attended, open to everyone for free, and has a charming desire to unite all religions and all peoples.
It begins at about sundown outside the Temple. While everyone gathers around, an elderly gentleman gives an introduction about the coming service, urging the group to respect silent moments.
Then people file inside the Temple. The ceremony begins with two circles, one inner and one outer and the first recitation is “The Invocation of the Seven Directions.” Throughout the service, songs are sung and individuals read poems. Symbols of the earth, wind, fire, and water are passed around: a plate of Lago Averno water, bread, incense, and a torch is passed from person to person.
An elderly woman gives a speech explaining that we come together with our sayings and songs from different religions in order to appreciate our unity. Once the ceremony is finished, the group makes their way from inside the Temple to the lake where candles are pushed on lily pads into the water. Stones are also thrown into the water as offerings. The ceremony ends with a long “OM…” just as the sun sets across the crater.
Centro Nuova Era sponsors these events and their center is in the Vomero where they offer massages, yoga, and other activities.