Italy Folklore Part 1
The popular Italian traditions reflect the complex historical events (ethnic, social, religious, political, etc.) of the people and the territory. In many it is easy to discover residues of ancient or even primordial beliefs, ceremonies and customs. But the fact that the collection of the material did not proceed with the same alacrity and with uniform criteria for all historical regions makes it still practically impossible today to determine with the desirable precision – except for proverbs and popular songs – the areas of diffusion. of beliefs, customs, etc., and therefore – without prejudice to a question of method (see folklore) – a cartographic representation.
This article therefore has a mainly descriptive character, without losing sight of the criterion of geographic diffusion and taking into consideration more generally national elements of Italian folklore. It must therefore be integrated with articles dedicated to the folklore of the various historical regions.
Birth. – The populations of the South blindly believe in destiny, which everyone carries with him from birth, and which is often considered to be determined by the stars, by the constellation under which he came into the world: unhappy who is born in an illune night or in the last months of the year. This idea recurs in the songs, which imagine that the smiling or squalid nature determines the fate, good or bad, of the newborn. To mark the fate at the cradle, the fairies await (see fairy), who indulge themselves in leaving the sign of their visit on the creature’s body, in the form of a maternal newborn. The beneficent fairy, rescuer of the humble and the weak, gets confused somewhere with the good fortune that the populace invokes in various ways and thinks to entice with the so-called “table of fortune”:
According to Microedu, trees are called upon to affect human life. At the birth of a child the parents hurry, in some village, to plant a sapling, which they regard as the living symbol of their loved one; the girls, swearing their faith in the beloved, anxiously entrust their fate to a peach tree or an almond tree so that it may herald the joy of a happy love with its blossoming. If the oak or elm, purposely split in two in the length of the stem, takes up again, after having passed the herniated child through the splayed branches, the latter will heal from the disease and its “break” or “crack” will be reintegrated.
“Star points” or “moon” (see moon) are called the inauspicious days, marked in the popular calendar as bringing about falls, killings, shipwrecks and other misfortunes. Neither animals nor plants escape their influence, so there is no hope of fruit from the vine planted on the 17th, 19th or 27th of February, as from the wheat sown on the 7th, 17th or 27th of October. . During the leap year it is believed that there is a moment, and it alone, particularly propitious for plantations: the farmer who makes the offshoots at that moment, taking care to throw a branch in the air, will have a luxuriant and prosperous vineyard.
Wedding. – The wedding rites preserve today ceremonies that were characteristic of distant times and constituted sacred and essential formalities in the marriage procedure. Alongside the rite of the ring (v.), Which is commonly called the faith (in Veneto the true one), there are in popular nuptials those of the touch-hand ( dextrarum contiunctio ) in Tuscany and Romagna, of the embrace in Sardinia, of the kiss (l ‘ osculum interveniens ) in Campania and other regions of southern Italy of the robe of engagement ( robes of lu ‘ nguaggiu) in Sicily. This last ceremony, which takes the form of putting on the girls some garments and ornaments offered by the fiancé, anticipates the solemn dressing of the bride, which takes place on the day of the wedding celebration and which is regulated by rules that vary from country to country. country and also according to social classes.
In Canossa, Bibbiano and other places in the Matildic territory (see Emilia) the blessing precedes the “escape” (fake escape) of the spouses, and when the spouses are close relatives, the “kinship” is “burned” – that is, the alleged or royal canonical impediment – having them hold a lighted candle in their hands during mass. In some regions (Sardinia), when going to take over the bride, for the celebration, the groom expresses himself with figurative terms, calling her lamb, dove, etc .; elsewhere (South Tyrol) before the real one, he receives the “false bride”, usually a spinster or an old woman. During the accompaniment of the couple to the marital home there is a “parade”, of which the typical form is observed in the Lucchesia, where on their return from the church the new spouses are stopped by four individuals, two in military clothing, one of a priest and the fourth of a page, who, parodying the wedding ceremony, leave the way free for the procession, after having obtained a tip. If the couple, either due to old age or widowhood or for other reasons, is worthy of blame, throngs of adults and children organize the “scornata” or “tempellata” (Tuscany) or “ciocada” (Cremonese) or ” baterela ”(Veneto), making a noise with old kitchen utensils and other tools. The memory of the people remains in the memory of the custom of having the husband overwhelmed in housekeeping or ridiculed by his wife ride upside down on a donkey, and lead him through the streets of the town; as well as the other of fictitiously stoning the spouses in sin, before bringing them near the altar for the nuptial blessing. The memory of the people remains in the memory of the custom of having the husband overwhelmed in housekeeping or ridiculed by his wife ride upside down on a donkey, and lead him through the streets of the town; as well as the other of fictitiously stoning the spouses in sin, before bringing them near the altar for the nuptial blessing. The memory of the people remains in the memory of the custom of having the husband overwhelmed in housekeeping or ridiculed by his wife ride upside down on a donkey, and lead him through the streets of the town; as well as the other of fictitiously stoning the spouses in sin, before bringing them near the altar for the nuptial blessing.