Every year the town of Trento (Trentino region, close to the National border with Austria) celebrates its patron Saint Vigilio on the 26th of June. At this time of the year the town gets transformed and it seems like it takes you back in time to the mediaeval era. Strolling in the streets of the historical centre you will most likely meet ladies dressed with long sumptuous and colorful dresses, gentlemen with britches (tights) and hats and court jesters. All this is part of an historical commemoration that is by now included in the traditions of the Trentino region.
Nevertheless, the festivity not only represents a commemoration of the past but also an opportunity for the inhabitants of Trento and surroundings to gather up and have fun. On the streets you will find stalls that sell all sorts of handmade produce and handicrafts like jam, honey, speck, sweets, necklaces and handmade clothes. Wood carvers stop in the tiny squares and, following their own creative inspiration, realize amazing sculptures in front of the passersby.
During Saint Vigilio celebrations it is possible to see the historical parade with costumes crossing the town centre, the procession of the Saint and other folkloristic events, just like:
– The “Tonca”, a cruel punishment inflicted to swearers between the Fourteenth and the Seventeenth Century that consisted of locking the unlucky person in a cage then immersed in the Adige river. The prisoner ended up drowning. Nowadays the event is represented as a role play where the sinners are the flaws in the character of people from Trentino, in addition to politicians and famous VIPs.
– The Palio of the goose (Palio dell’oca), it takes place on the water of the same river and it consists in a team race… on rafts! The contestants are required to face nine ability tests in the quickest way possible.
– The “Mascherada dei Ciusi e dei Gobj” takes its origin from an ancient rivarly between Trento and Feltre, the legend tells that people from Feltre sacked the granaries in Trento after a period of famine. These events take place in the sixth Century A.C. Nowadays the teams are dressed with picturesque costumes: the Ciusi from Feltre dressed in yellow and red, and the Gobj from Trento dressed in grey and black. Across different challenges, the dispute proclaims winners those who get the polenta (typical north-italian dish).
Many thanks to Noemi for giving us an insight of her favorite festa from her region, Trentino.
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