Every year, on January 31, in Ardesio, in the upper Seriana Valley, in Northern Italy, winter is “chased away” with the “Scasada del Zenerù”, an important and well-established tradition of the town, a much-attended and awaited ritual.
A symbolic date on January 31, an appointment considered in antiquity to be the hinge between winter and spring. On the evening of the 31st thousands join the local population to “drive away” the winter, the cold and the bad season, making a great noise with cowbells, milk, small and giant tree frogs and all this with which you can make noise, in a procession through the historical path of the streets of the town that follows the famous puppet, which, every year with different features, represents the cold season that will be symbolically expelled, burning through a wonderful and suggestive bonfire.
For the first time, this year, IOV Italy are partners of the folkloric event!
We tell you about the three main events of the event:
22 January at 8.45 pm | Ardesio Theatre
Screening of the docu-film “Zenerù” by Andrea Grasselli
“Zenerù” is the new docu-film by director Andrea Grasselli that tells the poetic relationship between the ancient ritual of the Scasada del Zenerù in Ardesio and the life of the hermit Flaminio Beretta, who in the sixties helped to preserve and give new life to the traditional rite of expulsion of the winter and which every year is the author of a poem-nursery rhyme that defines the theme of Zenerù. His is always the design of the puppet which, once built by the villagers, on January 31st, is hunted and burned.
To participate, you must book on the website www.prolocoardesio.it or via whatsapp at 0346.33289. The Reinforced Green Pass and the use of the FFP2 mask are required.
January 30th at 3 pm | Ardesio Council room
Presentation of the volumes “Campanacci d’Italia” by prof. Giovanni Mocchi and “Transumanza Picta” by Anty Pansera and Maria Vezzoli
In the afternoon of January 30, the presentation of two volumes related to the popular tradition of the Val Seriana. Professor Mocchi presents the volume “Campanacci d’Italia”. The wandering caravan that for the common ear appears as a rustic and archaic sound wave, for the shepherd is the unmistakable song of his own land, the one that every spring rekindles memories, emotions, nostalgia, companion in the solitude of summer nights and promise, d winter, of a new departure, a source of pride in transhumance and solemn voice of the ancestors. Through the cowbells, symbolic objects of the agro-pastoral world, the book tells the stories and traditions of an ancestral world, often hidden, but still proud and vital. “Campanacci d’Italia” is the first Italian cataloging of the multiform models that change from region to region and often from valley to valley and is meant to be a memory and a tribute to the generations of blacksmiths who, with patience and passion, have chosen to ‘get their hands dirty ‘to overcome the resistance of iron and bend it to the variegated harmonies that for millennia have punctuated the silences of our alpine pastures.
Following, Anty Pansera and Maria Vezzoli present “Intorno alla Presolana. Picta transhumance. Herds, flocks, farmers and saints in ex-votos “. The starting point comes from a careful study of the ex-votos kept in the various parishes, in the sanctuaries or even in the simple churches of the valleys around the Presolana. Often these ex-votos can be linked to events that occurred during the transhumance of the herds and flocks from the plain to the mountains and vice versa, a subject that has given rise to an interesting historical / anthropological research. In any case, it is always a question of dangerous situations that ended happily against all realistic predictions, for which the popular culture of the time felt the desire to somehow thank what could not be other than divine intervention in its various manifestations.
Opening the afternoon, together with the organizers of the event IOV World Secretary General Fabrizio Cattaneo to remember the importance and commitment of the Federation in preserving our cultural heritage.
The meeting (in Italian) will be broadcast live on the FITP Bergamo facebook page (click here).
January 31 | historic center of Ardesio
The great bonfire of La Scasada del Zenerù
Also this year Gennaione (big January) will burn without crowds, as already for 2021. In order not to abandon tradition, in order to involve the population, at a distance, in their homes, the Pro Loco Ardesio invites everyone to make a video in which they drive away January with cowbells. The videos (in horizontal format) must be sent via whatsapp to 0346.33289 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. All contributions will be included in the final video of the event with the Zenerù bonfire and images of the wagon”.
A chariot that this year too will represent the theme chosen by the hermit Flaminio Beretta: the puppet of Zenerù is represented on the traditional postcard as he tries to escape Paris, with a tourist bus with authority in tow. “ARDES ZENERÙ DEL VINTEDU / Ê staölta dè niscus part is ‘ndo co’ l’ibus / This time I secretly leave and go by bus”.