3 CHRISTMAS IN MOLISEIf it is true that Christmas is descended from ancient ceremonies dedicated to the Sun God, as light and heat, it is not surprising that, despite the fact that after many centuries, the ancient meanings have survived. In fact, the fire, an universal elio emblema, is the cornerstone of many Christmas rituals in and outside Europe. So in Molise, Christmas, is characterized by different forms of fire that lit on Christmas Eve, it must purify and regeneratie or interpreted as sympathetic magic. These fires are called rituals in various ways: faults, stuffed, stucco, cones, favone, (word used among minorities slave). But the name most commonly used is 'Ndocciata. These fiery rites are common in many parts of the region: Agnone, Collecroce Acquaviva, Bagnoli Trigno, Belmonte del Sannio, Pescopennataro Castelverrino, Filignano, Montefalcone in Samnium, Pietrabbondante Roccavivara, Oratino, Poggio Sannita, Pietracupa, Sant'Angelo Pesco.
4 THE NATIVITYThe crib, is, prepared in the homes of almost every family at the beginning of December, and remained attached until the Epiphany, which sanctioned the arrival of the Magi. The latest figure that must be part of the crib is the Child Jesus, that is inserted in its place only at midnight on Christmas Eve. The tradition wanted the youngest child of the family put baby Jesus in the crib.Today has caught the staging of Live Nativity, you can see it in every little town of Molise where the protagonists of the Nativity are played by amateur actors.
5 THE CHRISTMAS TREE IN MOLISE It seems that the custom of the Christmas tree originated in relatively recent times, here in Italy but some argue that a "abies natalis" was "revered" already in Roman barbaric. That tree was maybe a tradition of Nordic Germanic origin. The Christmas tree par excellence is the fir tree, even in our homes we use to make it on 8th of December. THIS IS BOIANO A TOWN IN MOLISE
6 During the end of the year, besides the above mentioned Christmas tree, find its way into our homes several other tree symbols, real "Christmas trees" that are of cultural value, apotropaic , archetypal. Here are three:Holly-The ancient Romans used holly as "Amuletum".It is planted in gardens to keep away evil spirits and, during the Saturnalia, wore it for protective purposes.Its leaves are a symbol of "defense", in fact,are hard and armed with thorns. They evoke the magic of the toes, protecting and healing magic.The fruits of holly, red and round, symbolizing the burning sun that recalls the fiery rites already described. Mistletoe- Mistletoe Legends Nordic ascribe to a supernatural origin. In fact, according to a widespread oral tradition, it falls when the lightning comes launched by a deity. It is also a parasitic plant, without roots and, therefore, "detached" from things, resulting in a robe and sacred ascetic. A belief has it that if you pass in the company under a sprig of mistletoe, we should kiss: act of union, brotherhood, love. The Christmas star - is the last in order of time, among the Christmas trees. On the exotic origin, known since the sixteenth century, arrived in the United States of America in the nineteenth century and began as presents at Christmas. In recent years, such use has been fortunate also in Italy, where the star is cultivated in warm climates such as Sicilian. It is characterized by a bright red flower that makes him look like a shining star, a bright and "hot" Christmas decoration. Red also is the cromosegno love.
7 THE ZAMPOGNAMolise is the land of bagpipes and bagpipers. It is an important symbol of ethnic emblem present in various history and culture. Novena, in the broadest sense, means a religious ritual that lasts nine days, but Novena is also the name of the song, typical of the Christmas period, performed by bagpipers (the song is also known as Pastoral Shepherdess).On 8th and 24th of December of each year, at dusk, towns, become the scene of an unique and unrepeatable, retracing the steps of a past semi-ancestral, "actors", wear the typical costumes of the last rural century, parade through the streets carrying bundles of fire, creating evocative compositions and dances. They wear a hat, a short coat or a goats fleece, pants, and boot cover typical form of sandals and woven laces snug seal(of the famous chjochje ciociari) ; The pipers go house to house, where they play Christmas music and strange repeating litanies.
8 THE EPIPHANYThe word epiphany, on the basis of lexical corruption (Bifani, Bethany), was born the name of the Epiphany. It is a way here in Italy to transform the party into a living person, just like Father Christmas, Carnival and Lent.The Befana is a witch, a particular form of witch. No coincidence that we describe her as an old and ugly woman, just like the witches. She flies on a broom and passes through the chimney. She is, however, a witch who can be good, who gives good gifts to deserving children. On the evening of January 5th children hang a stocking by the fireplace. It was believed that the Befana would be introduced in the chimney, and would fill the stockings of gifts: fruit, sweets and toys for good children, ash and coal to bad ones.
9 THE BUFU’In Molise, New Year's Eve is "the night of the bufù", during which you perform the maitunate songs or Noven. Maitunata (or Maitena) stands for "morning" waiting for Christmas day, the new day and new year. In fact, the opening words of many maitunate Bonn and Bonnanne, corruption dialect means Good day and Happy New Year. In our region, even today the tradition of bufù music is alive in many locations, including Sepino, Casacalenda Ferrazzano, Pietracatella Gambatesa.The instrument consists of several parts:The container that is usually a barrel. The barrile is often medium-sized, but can also be a small barrel or a large household and rounded barrel cellar. Less frequently, they can be used as a 'sounding board' pure metal or earthenware containers and whatever else may serve to use.
10 THE MAITUNATE NOTES OF POPULAR TRADITIONS The maitunata is a tradition that takes place, as in other centers even in Pietracatella Molise, in the chronological period elapsing between the evening of December 31st and January 1st so rightly puts it among the many rituals for the New Year that many cultures have produced in course of time.It is expressed in a collective way, the protagonists are boys and men ranging in age, which are organized into teams, the number of components is not fixed and the instruments they play mostly home made the bufù. Each team is headed by a leader: the singer, or bard, sings a recitative -song accompanied by music, text content auspicious, propitious or satirical burlesque.The mode of presentation of the teams are essentially two. The first takes place from the evening of December 31, then on the night of Saint Sylvester. The second is between the morning and the evening of January 1st and is characterized by satirical performances of the singers and their teams to which they belong. The texts sung in the second phase of the exhibition are mainly distorted and alienating the satire, the life of the community during the annual cycle, while those in the New Year's Eve contain formulas of greeting and propitiation.
11 TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS FOOD Visit the Molise during the Christmas season is definitely a good choice. This region offers its visitors an incredible gastronomic wealth, which at this time gives his best and that is accessible to everyone thanks to the presence on the territory of a wide variety of restaurants, taverns, inns and farmhouses that make up the bulk supply of food and Molise offer menus of this traditional time of celebration.On Christmas Eve it is typical in Molise, fish on the tables: the eel, roasted or with sauce, which often is flavored pasta, or baked cod with peppers. In Molise on the tables at Christmas can’t miss: Soup of thistles; a type of Pizza called Franz in hot broth, Codfish arracanato (bread garlic parsley oregano raisins, pine nuts and walnuts). Baked codfish and fennel , with parsley, bread crumbs, raisins and walnuts;For dessert: the Calciuni (made of flour, wine, boiled chestnuts, rum, chocolate, honey, almonds, candied citron, cinnamon, eggs and vanilla). On Christmas Day, however, there are two menus, depending on whether you are in mountain areas, in the high Molise, and that province, or in low Molise, the area towards the sea.The mountainous area proposed as the first soup: done with the fat free-range chicken broth, with puts scarolina just harvested, and boiled, and beaten eggs. This is the main dish that is served to all diners at the center table, then, in this broth there are fried meatballs, grilled pieces of cheese and cheese balls made with three types of grated cheese and eggs plate .The second is roasted chicken, which is deboned and stuffed with offal, ground beef, bread and eggs and then closed again, and is sometimes accompanied by various sauces.The low Molise, however, suggests the lasagna in the oven: homemade pasta, topped with meat sauce, smoked cheese, hard boiled egg into pieces, or tortellini in chicken broth or sauce or other type of homemade pasta. As second plate you eat backed or grilled lamb, stuffed chicken and salads ,or other types of vegetables.Last but not least, comes the sweet. Typical mostaccioli, made with a mixture of chocolate, cocoa, nuts, almonds, orange peel, and melted chocolate, then, the rococo, the donuts of dried fruit and honey, baked crisp; the Agnone wafers: real hosts, but larger, with Christmas decorations and stuffed with chocolate, nuts and honey. Finally, the Panmilk, zuccotto a kind of almond paste, covered with chocolate hazelnut, and crispy, made of caramel with nuts and almonds. On the Christmas tables can’t miss the nougat of all kind. For the New Year's Eve, pork sausage with lentils, mashed potatoes, panettone and pandoro, pepatelli (sweets, made with flour, honey and almonds) and spumante. All this for an auspicious and prosperous new year.