Befana bonfire in Noale: an ancient fascinating ritual

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If you are frequent readers of My Corner of Italy, you already know the Befana tradition. This year Matteo and I decided to see the Befana bonfire in Noale, there called Pirola Parola (as in other towns in the province of Venice).

Every year on January 6th in Noale you can attend a fascinating ceremony with about 100 people dressed in historic costumes: traditional songs, propitiatory rhymes, games for kids, food kiosks and ancient artisan works reenactments.

It was bitter cold when we arrived in Noale. We wandered and snoop around, taking pictures to the people and to the quaint corners of the town.

But it was to cold to wait outside until 5.30 pm and see the highlight, the bonfire on the river bank. The pile to be burnt  represents the old year, while the flames represent hope. The direction of the smoke is interpreted as an omen for the new year.

We decided to have merenda at a local pastry shop, recently renovated, called Zizzola. I loved it. I published a picture on Instagram and I received so many requests of information about it, that I decided I will write a separate post asap.

Bonfire time! It was beautiful, mostly because the day was clear and we could enjoy a marvelous sunset while the bonfire was lit.

The heat of the fire reached us while we were watching along the river bank, with the picturesque sight of the castle ruins.

The final verdict of the expert fire smoke teller was vague: this year will be neither bad nor good. OK, it could have been worse, but I honestly hoped for a better prevision!

Anyway, I really enjoyed this experience. Noale always males things right. I loved the Palio and I loved the Pirola Parola. I’d suggest you to go next year to see the Befana bonfire in Noale, if you have the chance. It is part of that primeval and almost lost rituals of our history that are really worth preserving.

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