Nine historic carnivals you must not miss in Basilicata

Carnival in Basilicata is an expression of the strong bond between the population and the landscape and natural resources. Always ritualistic and evocative, Lucan’s carnival events preserve old traditions and, albeit with individual peculiarities, bear the culture of transhumance, ancient symbolism, animal representations and meanings of rural civilization.

9 municipalities connected by the “Carnival Network”
The intangible heritage of carnivals, for the evaluation and protection of which the “Network of Lucan carnivals with anthropological and cultural value” already works, which brings together the most representative ones, contributes in an original and folkloristic way to outline the so-called global tourist experience, created from nature, discovery, storytelling, emotions and entertainment.
The 9 municipalities involved in their historical traditional masks are: Teana Bear, Satriano Rumita, Tricarico màshkr, Cirigliano Stagioni, Aliano Horned masks, San Mauro Forte Campanacci, Lavello Domino, Montescaglioso with two carnivals and a mask that distinguishes it, Carnevalone, Stigliano the clown.
From the end of the Christmas period to the beginning of Lent, 9 historical carnivals in Lucania revive their territories and become theaters of memory. The natural and animal worlds are the protagonists of the modern reading of archaic myths and legends.

The Carnival Network is a project that aims to strengthen and promote the extraordinary Lucan identity in the region and beyond. The leader of the municipality is Tricarico, which proposed sharing a shared route with other Lucan municipalities, the aim of which is to coordinate the individual routes associated with the carnival and the creation of other off-season events. The absolute interpreters of the Tricarice carnival are the Tricarico masks, in the local dialect “l’Mash-kr”, which personify the “bull” and the “cow”: a wide-brimmed hat covered with a scarf and a veil, both white. , decorated with long multi-colored ribbons that reach the ankles, for the “cow”. A black headdress decorated with long red ribbons for the “bull”.
Teana Carnival is improvisation, instinct, curiosity. It is one of the most famous and most watched in Lucania, with the Bear as its protagonist and a “trial” against him on the last carnival Saturday, a parody of the “Passion of Jesus”.
The uniqueness of Satriano is represented by “Walking Forest”, where trees become men and men become trees inspired by the mysterious figure of Rumita, a quiet soul who represents the spirit of the Forests.
The Cirigliano carnival parade with Pulcinella and masks of 4 seasons and 12 months of the year starts at the 16th century Baronial Castle and then winds through the charming streets of the historic center lit by torchlight and encouraged by the festivities of the parade.
Alian’s horned masks evoke demonic and clumsy creatures whose menacing character is tempered by the colorful hats that adorn their heads. In them, the characters parade through the village to the sound of accordions and dark darkness.
During the Carnival of San Mauro Forte, the cowbells break the silence of the village with their dark but deafening sound, which spreads through the streets and alleys up to the Norman tower in an atmosphere of captivating mystery.
On the occasion of the carnival in Lavello, the typical “Festini” comes to life, dancing until the morning with Domino, a mask with a characteristic long satin tunic.
The Montescaglio Carnival has a double soul: on Shrove Tuesday, the “Traditional Carnival” takes place, with masked groups ringing cowbells, figures full of symbolism; The Sunday preceding Shrove Tuesday, and Shrove Tuesday itself, is the turn of the “Montesque Carnival” with a parade of impressive allegorical vessels.
The star of the Stigliano carnival, with ancient roots that have evolved over time, is the mask of a “clown” holding a bottle of wine and a cupa cupa, a symbol of never-broken contact with the past.

A cycle of events that includes every single Lucan municipality
The Lucan Carnival cycle, which runs from January 13 with the start of events in San Mauro Forte to February 13 (Shrove Tuesday), includes almost all the Lucan municipalities, each characterized by its own carnival that attracts a large capacity for tourist attraction.
The carnival trial takes place in Pietrapertosa with a procession that, after arriving in the square, will continue with his sentencing. In Trecchina, “cupa – cupa” brings the rhyme rhythm of “Contakronze”, dressed in a dark hat and a shepherd’s coat. The procession of Pomarica takes place in the alleys, where Pulcinella and his wife Zeza appear, accompanied by the singing of an indecent song. In Accettura, cowbells, bagpipes and ciaramelle accompany the feast of S. Anthony. The carnival fire takes place in Arment. At Picern a long procession leads to the stake; even in Tursi the carnival puppets suffer the same fate; the sound of the cupa-cupa accompanies the mask of San Severino Lucano, while once in the Oppido there was a procession with figures representing agricultural workers who from Abriola imitated the work in the fields during the celebrations.


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