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Themes:     Culture & Tradition (26)  
Tags:    Alta Badia     Ladin
Concetta Bonaldi Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Santa Maria dal Ciüf

Ferragosto is a special day for the Ladins, even more so for the villagers of La Villa: they celebrate their patron saint, Santa Maria dal Ciüf. This festivity is Christian in nature. In fact, until not that long ago, women working on the farm went to church with baskets filled with flowers, aromatic herbs and some cereals: these were blessed at the end of the service and then carried out in a solemn procession.
Santa Maria dal Ciüf
‘The citizens of La Villa, year after year, have successfully organised this parade with great enthusiasm ; the citizen's teamwork and good collaboration make this a very special day indeed.’
The flowers, the herbs and the cereals were used for different reasons: they were either eaten by the villagers or given to animals, or they were burned and were used to cure ailments - they were a symbol for longevity and good health and they warded off lightning bolts and mischievous spirits.
Holy mass and this traditional procession have now been imbibed with new life, while the afternoon events are in a more folkloristic vein.
The organisation of the traditional parade is also included in this festivity: this initiative has met with resounding success and attracts many tourists and locals.
The Tourism Association of Badia came up with the idea 30 years ago and Paola Maneschg Crazzolara and Loise Rottonara were its efficient organisers for many years. The parade and subsequent event is organised with the local firemen’s association and is also an occasion to collect donations.
The parade's theme changes every year, yet it is always linked to the lifestyle of the Ladins: the village music band is always there, with its modern and traditional songs, children with flower baskets, traditional costumes and dances. The theme influences the wardrobe choice, which is always very original. The 'floats' are numerous and their originality and mesmerising beauty catch the eye every year.
The Ferragosto parade runs through the village and ends in the village centre where the party continues: music, games and traditional cuisine lighten up the hot ferragosto afternoon.
The initiative started out many years ago as a small thing but has grown over the years. In 1985 the parade broke with its past and extended its reach to represents 2000 years of Ladin history: due to the mammoth task of this first experiment, all villages in Alta Badia, not only La Villa, give a helping hand.
Many people were required to attend to represent the different noble families of Val Badia, the Colz, the Ciastel Badia, Wolkenstein and Andrac, due to the event's size and the difficulty in finding all the needed material.
Over the years, the organising committee had put together a full wardrobe of clothes: some traditional and other especially hand sown according to the theme of the year.
Legends, the forest, hunting, the history of the Val Badia road and of tourism, flora and fauna, the four seasons, the history of bread, traditions and sport: all these different themes have been represented over the years.
The citizens of La Villa, year after year, have successfully organised this parade with great enthusiasm on their side; the citizen's teamwork and good collaboration make this a very special day indeed.
This year, 15th August 2013, the theme will be traditional crafts.

Concetta Bonaldi
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