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Themes:     Culture & Tradition (14)  
Tags:    Food     Ladin
 
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Concetta Bonaldi Saturday, 30 March 2013

Traditional Ladin Easters

The eggs were given by the girls of the valley as gifts on Easter Monday: two eggs being gifted to every man, four if the man should be a bit of a pain, six to a steady boyfriend and twelve if you intended to marry the object of your desire within the year.
Traditional Ladin Easters
 
 
 
These were the customs practised by the village people long time ago, times when small usages and traditions made Easter really special and the whole village would be involved.
One of the more curious of Ladin customs is the tradition practised in the period running up to Easter of painting hardboiled hens’ eggs in a multitude of colours and in some instances of adding various adesive or floral form wishes, or even using a sort of file to decorate the egg. In this latter case a certain skill is required for as you can imagine the egg shell is not the most resistant of materials!
Once it was part of the tradition that the coloured and decorated eggs were given by the girls of the valley as gifts on Easter Monday: two eggs being gifted to every man, four if the man should be a bit of a pain, six to a steady boyfriend and twelve if you intended to marry the object of your desire within the year. In fact the eggs presented to the intended bridegroom had to be closed in a glass box, this itself being handpainted or decorated. If the day after Easter Monday any girl still had eggs in her possession she had to be quick to hide them in the vegetable patch for otherwise it would be a real unlucky omen as far as finding a husband was concerned.
The Easter Monday tradition for the boys was to indulge in «cufè», which consisted in a coloured egg battle: each competitor would choose an egg and test out the shell’s hardness on his own incisors. The challenge entailed knocking at your opponent’s egg, first at the more pointed extreme and subsequently on the rounded part. The winner was the one who was able to break the two parts of his opponent’s egg, thereby winning the other egg itself. In the Ladin valleys these customs are still practised by many.
Another Ladin tradition concerns the Easter lunch: before the Easter Sunday mass many baskets full of succulent produce was brought into church: the «pan da pasca» (sweet Easter bread), salumi, an array of desserts and essential too was a horseradish! The chests were blessed at the end of the Easter service. Easter tradition had it that the blessed food should be tasted by the entire family during lunch and served from one large plate: the sweet flavours would blend with the salty ones.

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