Saturday, February 15, 2014

Italy: Baìo

The Baìo (also known as "Baìo di Sampeyre") is a traditional festival that takes place every five years in the municipality of Sampeyre, in the Valle Varaita in the province of Cuneo, Italy. The "Baìo di Sampeyre" was one of the most important and ancient traditional festivals in the Italian Alps. Elements of a historical and fantastical nature intertwine, overlapping: it narrates that arou...nd the year one thousand, in the alpine valleys, the raids of the Saracen hordes from Provence brought destruction and deaths, such that the inhabitants of the valleys revolted by organizing themselves into popular armies. The event takes place over three days, festival’s actors are all inhabitants of the valley – but strictly male only – in the garments of the numerous and colorful characters: from Harlequins to Cellarmen, from the Old Man and the Old Woman, to the Turks, from the various Armies, to the Newly-Weds, to the Lords. The “Sonaudur” (players) are the mainstay of the Baio and enliven the procession and the dances by playing day and night. 

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