Horses and carriages at the Villa Manin in Passariano/Codroipo in Friuli/Italy

Carnival 2019 in San Pietro al Natisone
The Pust, the Blumari, cowbells and music

San Pietro al Natisone/Italy (2019) – The time between February and March is also in Italy's Friuli-Venezia Giulia dedicated to the Carnival celebrations. The eastern Friuli valleys and its neighboring Slovenian communities celebrate their carnival with the Pust. Old and young not only from the Natisone valley but also from other Friuli cities, from Abruzzo and even from Slovenia come together every year in San Pietro for two days to have a good time while celebrating carnival but also to revive old rituals and traditions while taking part in the annual "Grand Pust Parade". The Pust in San Pietro al Natisone is not the usual cheesy, cheap and corny street party but rather a very carefully planned and orchestrated, colorful representation of tradition, rituals and folklore.

The main character of the carnival masks is, of course, the Pust, a traditional figure that wears pants and jackets covered with bright rainbow colored rags and fitting huge hats made in the same fashion. This tradition goes back to the ancient time when the Pust represented the arrival of spring. The Pust walks the Grand Parade surrounded by witches, devils and angels, cock and hen as well as by other animals like bears and wild pigs, lots of musicians, black-faced men coming who just arrived out of the woods and the Blumari , a group of men, dressed in all white with large tree-shaped headpieces with strips of colored paper and bells tied behind their shoulders. The Blumari perform runs during the parade, their way of celebrating the arrival of spring. To dress up as a Blumari is quite a task and requires the help and knowledge of fathers and mothers and even grandparents, since they are the ones who hand down the traditions and routines from generation to generation, for example how to tie down the cowbells on the shoulders and the headpieces to the heads so they won't get lost during the runs of the Blumari. The Carnival of the Natisone valley is as much great fun and joy- and colorful as it is a revival of ancient rituals and traditions.
Horse with carriage in front of Villa Manin in Codroipo in Friuli in Italy

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