“L’a’ Pitu e la Rocca” in Rotonda

Every year from 8th to 13th June the people of Rotonda celebrate the unique marriage "of the trees", one of the most impressive arboreal rites in Basilicata, linked to an ancestral Lucanian tradition. The "bride" (the "rocca"), and the "bridegroom" (the “l’a’ pitu”) are a fir and a beech, one uprooted from the woods of Terranova di Pollino, the other from Piano Pedarreto, among the beautiful scenery of the Pollino National Park. In the days that follow, just as as a bride and groom would, the plants "meet", and on their "wedding day", as in most of the Basilicata arboreal rites, the secular…

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“L’a Pitu e la Rocca” in Viggianello

This ritual of pagan origin, which over the course of time has combined with Christian tradition, is held annually in Viggianello; it is an event not to be missed, due to the solemnity of the occasion that sets it apart. The arboreal rite is repeated three times a year in three different locations in the town: in the first week after Easter in the newest part of the Pedali district, and in the last week of August in the old town, where the celebrations coincide with religious services in honour of the Patron Saint, St. Francis of Paola. During the second weekend of September the "marriage"…

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“U’ Masc’” in Pietrapertosa

The "marriage" between a Turkey oak and a tree-top, which takes place in this beautiful town in the Basilicata Dolomites, is one of the tree rituals that has been celebrated for centuries in the region. The "U' Masc'" festival in Pietrapertosa coincides with the celebrations in honour of Sant’Antonio on 13th June, and the ritual ends on the following weekend. The two trees are chosen and cut a few days before the feast, in the woods of Montepiano, right in the heart of the Park of Gallipoli Cognato. Here, the "massari" (farmers) await the first light of dawn, when the "groom" and "bride",…

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Viaggio in Basilicata 7

A Pit’ in Terranova di Pollino

This is one of eight arboreal rites of Basilicata which are renewed among the regional park of Gallipoli Cognato and the Pollino National Park, among the sacred and the profane. Unlike the others, that of Terranova di Pollino does not celebrate the "marriage" of the trees. It remains faithful to the script during the process of tree cutting, with the highest and straightest fir tree being cut down in the days before the festival, in the town of Cugno d’Acero. This is then transported on the shoulders of local men with the help of strong bullocks. This extraordinary ancestral ritual coincides…

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The “Maggio” in Accettura

Accettura is "the” symbolic town of the "marriages of the trees" that are celebrated in Basilicata. These are ancestral and propitiatory rites, in which a trunk (Maggio) and a tree top (Cima)—the "groom" and "bride"—are joined together and lifted up to the skies in a symbolic union. The spotlight is on the Maggio Festival in Accettura from Pentecost Sunday, when the future bride and groom begin their journey toward the town square; but the whole event takes place every year from the Octave of Easter to the Sunday of Corpus Christi, and is dedicated to the Patron Saint, San Giuliano. The…

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The ‘Marriage Of The Trees’ Festivals In Basilicata

A mix of the sacred and the profane, unveiling a peculiar relationship between man and nature, these unique marriages between an old oak called ‘Maggio’ and a holly tree called ‘Cima’ - representing the groom and the bride - have been taking place in Basilicata from time immemorial. These arboreal rituals date back to ancient traditions related to fertility, good harvest and life, and they are celebrated in eight villages located in two of the natural beauty areas of the region. In the regional park of Gallipoli Cognato e Piccole Dolomiti Lucane, also known as the ‘Maggio Area’, several…

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THE CARNIVAL OF STRAW IN VIGGIANELLO

Floats and ‘Pagliarino’, the typical mask, are the protagonists of the "Straw Carnival" of Viggianello. Willow branches modelled by nimble hands take shape until gigantic structures which are covered with newspaper and paper mache. The parade of floats and masked groups is repeated at two different times, but in both cases the they are highly focused on allegory and folklore. In Pedali, the new part of Viggianello, everything takes place on the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday, while in the historic centre the parade is held on Shrove Tuesday itself. The hamlet of Pedali also plays host to the…

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The Maggio in Oliveto

Solemnity and joy are the leitmotif of the arboreal rite of Oliveto Lucano, which is celebrated from 10th to 12th August each year, among the sacred and the profane. The two "spouses", the Turkey oak (‘maggio’) and the holly tree-top (‘cima’), are chosen from among the most beautiful and lush plants in the forest of Gallipoli Cognato. One is usually cut on the first Sunday of August, while the other is selected and cut on 10th August. Their first meeting takes place at Piano Torcigliano, down from Monte Croccia, and the future "bride" (the Cima) is led on an eight-kilometre journey by very…

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The “‘ndenna” and the “cunocchia” of Castelsaraceno

The "Marriage of the trees", in Basilicata, is also celebrated in Castelsaraceno during the first three Sundays in June, on the occasion of the feast of Sant’Antonio. The "'ndenna" and the "cunocchia", a beech tree trunk and the top of a pine tree, "meet" for the first time on the third Sunday in June, when their marriage is enshrined in front of a few "witnesses", as a symbol of the intimacy of the moment. The first Sunday in June is the day of the "Antenna", when men drive their tractors toward Favino, at the foot of the Alps in the Pollino National Park, and find the most beautiful beech…

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The “du’ Masc'” festival of Castelmezzano

Castelmezzano is one of the Basilicata municipalities that celebrates the ancestral tree ritual consisting of a real "marriage" between plants: a trunk and a tree-top. Every year, on 12th and 13th September, coinciding with the celebrations in honour of Sant’Antonio, a stout Turkey oak trunk, "the bridegroom", also known as the "Maggio", is chosen from among the woods of the regional park of Gallipoli Cognato and Piccole Dolomiti Lucane and pruned by local woodsmen, before being dragged by pairs of oxen up to the centre of the town. At the same time, while improvised dances and banquets take…

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Basilicata Traditions

Traditions such as arboreal rituals, which celebrate the regeneration of nature and fertility, as well as anthropological and anthropomorphic carnivals, which refer to the deep bond between man and nature, make Basilicata a unique region, where the relationship with nature has always characterized the life of man. Sacred and profane, man and nature characterize the arboreal rituals where singular "marriages" are celebrated between a trunk, the "groom", and a top, the "bride", an archaic hymn to the fertility of the earth and to life that is renewed. Equally important are the traditions of…

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“L’a’ Pitu e la Rocca” in Rotonda

Every year from 8th to 13th June the people of Rotonda celebrate the unique marriage "of the trees", one of the most impressive arboreal rites in Basilicata, linked to an ancestral Lucanian tradition. The "bride" (the "rocca"), and the "bridegroom" (the “l’a’ pitu”) are a fir and a beech, one…

Read More

“L’a Pitu e la Rocca” in Viggianello

This ritual of pagan origin, which over the course of time has combined with Christian tradition, is held annually in Viggianello; it is an event not to be missed, due to the solemnity of the occasion that sets it apart. The arboreal rite is repeated three times a year in three different locations…

Read More

“U’ Masc’” in Pietrapertosa

The "marriage" between a Turkey oak and a tree-top, which takes place in this beautiful town in the Basilicata Dolomites, is one of the tree rituals that has been celebrated for centuries in the region. The "U' Masc'" festival in Pietrapertosa coincides with the celebrations in honour of…

Read More

Viaggio in Basilicata 7

A Pit’ in Terranova di Pollino

This is one of eight arboreal rites of Basilicata which are renewed among the regional park of Gallipoli Cognato and the Pollino National Park, among the sacred and the profane. Unlike the others, that of Terranova di Pollino does not celebrate the "marriage" of the trees. It remains faithful to…

Read More

The “Maggio” in Accettura

Accettura is "the” symbolic town of the "marriages of the trees" that are celebrated in Basilicata. These are ancestral and propitiatory rites, in which a trunk (Maggio) and a tree top (Cima)—the "groom" and "bride"—are joined together and lifted up to the skies in a symbolic union. The spotlight…

Read More

The ‘Marriage Of The Trees’ Festivals In Basilicata

A mix of the sacred and the profane, unveiling a peculiar relationship between man and nature, these unique marriages between an old oak called ‘Maggio’ and a holly tree called ‘Cima’ - representing the groom and the bride - have been taking place in Basilicata from time immemorial. These arboreal…

Read More

THE CARNIVAL OF STRAW IN VIGGIANELLO

Floats and ‘Pagliarino’, the typical mask, are the protagonists of the "Straw Carnival" of Viggianello. Willow branches modelled by nimble hands take shape until gigantic structures which are covered with newspaper and paper mache. The parade of floats and masked groups is repeated at two different…

Read More

The Maggio in Oliveto

Solemnity and joy are the leitmotif of the arboreal rite of Oliveto Lucano, which is celebrated from 10th to 12th August each year, among the sacred and the profane. The two "spouses", the Turkey oak (‘maggio’) and the holly tree-top (‘cima’), are chosen from among the most beautiful and lush…

Read More

The “‘ndenna” and the “cunocchia” of Castelsaraceno

The "Marriage of the trees", in Basilicata, is also celebrated in Castelsaraceno during the first three Sundays in June, on the occasion of the feast of Sant’Antonio. The "'ndenna" and the "cunocchia", a beech tree trunk and the top of a pine tree, "meet" for the first time on the third Sunday in…

Read More

The “du’ Masc'” festival of Castelmezzano

Castelmezzano is one of the Basilicata municipalities that celebrates the ancestral tree ritual consisting of a real "marriage" between plants: a trunk and a tree-top. Every year, on 12th and 13th September, coinciding with the celebrations in honour of Sant’Antonio, a stout Turkey oak trunk, "the…

Read More

Basilicata Traditions

Traditions such as arboreal rituals, which celebrate the regeneration of nature and fertility, as well as anthropological and anthropomorphic carnivals, which refer to the deep bond between man and nature, make Basilicata a unique region, where the relationship with nature has always characterized…

Read More