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15 August 2019

Santa Maria dal Ciüf

In the Ladin valleys, 15 August is the day of flowers. Each village is decorated with petals in a blaze of colours and celebrates Santa Maria dal Ciüf, i.e. Santa Maria del Fiore. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful religious feast of the whole summer: Ladin girls and women wear traditional country clothes and go to Holy Mass with a basket decorated with flowers, healing herbs, salt and flour to have it blessed by the priest. The basket is then stored to protect the house and to be burned in the oven with the arrival of the first storm. This Ladin tradition is still practiced in all five valleys as a sign of thanksgiving in the middle of summer. And it is nice to admire the girls who now have very little of the farmsteads about them, dressed in clothes that seem to come from another time, another world. And it is nice to see the procession, all walking together through the streets of the villages: their pace reminds of those impressionist paintings with all those flashes of colour that seem to dance on the canvas. Santa Maria dal Ciüf is really a beautiful feast day, not only from a folkloric point of view: it is beautiful because it is a feast scented, colorful, alive, smiling, positive, graceful just like the petal of a flower. It is a festival that in recent years also attracts the attention of many tourists, because the women look beautiful, villages have flowers dotted everywhere, and because there is a relaxed climate that makes us understand how important traditions are to keep intact as part of an identity, even if one always evolving. When you celebrate without rhetoric, without giving excessive weight to things, when everything remains within a context of simplicity and memory, then the wearing clothes of the past is a joy. The very fact of taking them out of the wardrobe and dusting them down is a pleasure, as long that is as the smell of mothballs is eliminated and they are crisply ironed. The whole event is more than a game or a carnival, for in essence it is the easiest way to understand where we come from. And without a full awareness of our past, it is more difficult to imagine any kind of future. Oh Holy Mary from Ciüf, so full of grace and colour, may you always be blessed.
Stefan, Style and housekeeping director


Grinzato, Degasperi&Ballester Trio
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