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A Welcoming Beacon Of Light

A man lights oil lanterns as part of the "Lantern Festival" celebrated at the foot of the Vesuvius volcano outside Naples. The festival is dedicated to the dead, whose souls - according to local beliefs - are guided back to earth by the lanterns' glow.

Relatives of the dead build lantern-studded doors. Locals believe that when the lights go out, the souls return through the doors. Originally a pagan holiday, the festival was adapted by the Catholic Church as a procession dedicated to St. Mary of the Snow.

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