The amazing Carnival of Putignano Featured

08 January 2014 3936 times

A magical period of the year...enjoy it only in Puglia,Putignano!

Of uncertain origin, the tradition dates back to 1394, making it one of the oldest carnivals in Europe. In that year, the Knights of Malta, who held the government of the territory, decided to move inland the relics of St. Stephen the Protomartyr kept the Abbey of St. Stephen in Monopoli, in an attempt to shelter them from the attacks of the Saracens.

Putignano was chosen as the destination for the transfer: at the arrival of the relics, the peasants, at that time engaged in the graft of the vine (still one of the typical agricultural activities in the area),left the fields and fell in behind festively to the jubilant procession, and after the religious ceremony, indulged in dancing and singing.
Then there were some who recited jokes, poems and improvised satires in vernacular. According to historians, the Propaggini were born at that time, still the heart of the local carnival tradition.

It is only with the Fascist period that the modest carnival will turn into a more refined one, bourgeois and city-like: it will be born as the procession of floats in the parade, a communication model, the latter, dear to the fascist culture. To make the basis for this transformation of tradition, the craft mastery of the village will put its woodworking skills at the disposal of a playful fun carnival. It is said that the first chariot was made using as its "soul" a net from a chicken coop.

The Putignano Carnival is one of the longest as duration in the world. In fact it starts on December 26th with the ceremony of the exchange of the candle, ceremony in which people give a candle to the church to ask for forgiveness for the sins that they'll commit during the Carnival. Then,the evening continues with the Propaggini.

The festival of the Propaggini consists in the recitation of rhyming verses in the local dialect: the poems tease the country's most powerful people and focus on the most discussed topics of the past year. In memory of the event which says that tradition was the origin of the carnival, the singing exhibition is sung by groups of citizens dressed in peasant clothes and carrying working tools on display.

The carnival itself, typically starts three Sundays before Ash Wednesday, more or less every Sunday a parade of papier-mâché floats is organized,representing the world of politics, culture or society. The celebrations will conclude on Mardi Gras, with an evening parade and the celebration of the funeral of the Carnival, represented as a pig. At the end of the funeral the so-called "campana dei maccheroni" takes place: with the gloomy sound of bells in mourning, it is celebrated a great feast where you eat pasta, meat and other delicacies. This is the last chance to gulp before the Lenten fast(digiuno quaresimale).

The traditional mask of Putignano is Farinella, wearing a costume with the symbols of the city, its name comes from the typical product of the same name, a legume flour. To this mask has been devoted a song (with the same name-Farinella)composed by accordionist of Putignano , Maestro Benedetto Pipoli.

In the Edition of 2013 of the Carnival, the Foundation has given to the artisans a common theme for the creation of the floats, in this case the films of Federico Fellini.

In 2014 ,the Edition number 620 of the Carnival will take place .

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Puglia is a region of Southern Italy that homes 4.084.035 inhabitants.The capital of Puglia is Bari. It has borders with Molise,Campania and Basilicata and it's washed by the Adriatic and Ionian seas.It includes the provinces of Bari, Barletta-Andria-Trani, Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce, Taranto.

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