A local custom dating back to the 16th century, “Focarazza” takes place on 24th November every year in Santa Caterina, a small village in the township of Roccalbegna, to revive the ancient rite of the fire-tree and mark the festival of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. A large purifying fire is lit around a tall oak pole, called a “stollo”, and fed with heather branches which have been gathered in the woods in bundles. Once the pile is set on fire, the flames are allowed to rise up into the sky, illuminating the countryside which is immersed in the evening darkness. When the great fire goes out, the struggle for possession of the stollo begins. Groups of men challenge the residual heat and flames, jumping on the embers to put them out in order to gain possession of the oak pole and take it back to their own district. Once the pole has been pulled from the ground, a long, enthralling race through the countryside and the streets of the town begins. After the victory, the celebrations begin, with food, desserts and wine being consumed by those present.