Basilicata is a region that contains treasures of art and culture of high value for his role as a crossroads of people that played in history, as a borderland between East and West and between North and South: a kind of a must stop, a place of transit and meeting, in Italy, in Europe and in the Mediterranean.
The 58th edition of the Montese Carnival
Evidence of this are the language and the traditions handed down to us as in Basilicata are stratified and mix influences and cultures, in some cases, to be discovered. For us it was a real discovery on Montese Carnival, one of the most famous and followed among those Lucan, who with parades of masks typical of the tradition that takes place on Mardi Gras, closes the carnival activities of Montescaglioso, a delightful town we mentioned in the previous post: https://www.cittameridiane.it/en/from-matera-to-montescaglioso-second-episode/.
Now in its 58th year, draws people from all over Basilicata who along with “Carnevalone”, the old man riding a donkey destined to end up at the stake as a good omen for the new year, “Quaremma”, which is the Carnevalone wife and “Carnevalicchio” birth during the burning of Carnevalone and represents the renewal of nature, parades through the main street of the city.
It does not have time to park and get to the parade, which is literally assaulted by children and teenagers paper clothes, cartons, clothes you no longer use fabrics that crave “na cos au Carnvalon, one thing for Carnevalone”: a coin but also candies and treats.
The ritual of dressing starts from the first light of dawn, then everyone in the parade along with the bells players shaken by colorful masks to ward off evil, “U ‘zembr”, the goat symbolizing the devil and “U’ Fus”, the personification of the “Roman Parca”, mythological figure that oversees the destiny of man. Armed with a large wooden spindle attached to a rope, a symbol of fate, the boys cross the country spinning it on the pavement and drawing a wide circle. Careful not to let you touch the spindle! It seems that then tough luck for a whole year…
This edition of the Carnival in Montescaglioso saw the participation of a pinch of Puglia with the Association for the Social Promotion of Acquaviva delle Fonti that with dances and bright red costumes donated more color and joy to the event.
Then comes lunch time and the streets and squares are empty. All come home to eat a typical meal of Mardi Gras. There speaks us the nice lady Camilla Livia Andrisani that we requested illustrates typical dishes of Montese Carnival from the typical soup made of flour mixed with water and then rubbed between your hands to form small balls which is called “u pepp jardjedd” and that is topped with a simple tomato sauce. The “maccaron cu semlone”, that is, whole wheat flour, are seasoned with the sauce of sausage and pork ribs. The next day, Ash Wednesday, they eat the lasagna instead, which is not that of Bologna, but a type of fresh homemade pasta type wide and thick noodles, only topped with fried bread crumbs, to comply with the beginning of Lent.
At this point we leave ourselves while in Montescaglioso continue the party with the parade of papier-mâché floats in the late afternoon and bonfires late into the evening of Carnevalone who is burned in the central square after being brought him here to the shoulder. The festival ends with forty bell tolls, which mark the beginning of Lent.