Unmissable. On Easter Sunday, the people of Bormio, young and old alike, wear traditional dress and take part in the Pasquali parade, a one-of-a-kind event. Not to be missed!
Tra le tradizioni lombarde della Settimana Santa, quella dei Pasquali è sicuramente la più originale, unica nel suo genere. Ma cosa sono esattamente? Sono delle portantine a tema religioso, dei veri capolavori artigianali.
Of all the Holy Week traditions in Lombardy, the Pasquali parade is undoubtedly the most original, a complete one-off. But what exactly does it involve? The Pasquali are carnival floats with a religious theme that are carried shoulder-high.
During the winter, in the five districts or ‘Reparti’ of Bormio, groups of youngsters meet to create their own float, building it piece-by-piece. On Easter Sunday, the people of Bormio put on their traditional costumes and take part in the colourful folklore parade through the centre of the town. The Pasquali range from the enormous to much smaller but no less important ones made by children. They are carried shoulder-high by young men whilst the women, older residents and children all carry flowers and other small handmade creations. A jury ranks the floats based on a number of factors, from their religious meaning to the quality of the workmanship and their artistic value, not forgetting the importance of culture and tradition, the cornerstones of the event.
How did this event come about?
The traditions of the Pasquali parade are deeply rooted in Bormio’s rural culture: first records date back to the 17th century, when people would cook a whole lamb to be served in Piazza del Kuerc, the town’s central square, on Easter Sunday. At the end of the 19th century, a ceremony was introduced to bless the live lamb and, from there, a competition began between the different districts of the town to create the best decoration for the animal.
Over time, they began to lay the lambs on wooden platforms decorated with moss, which gave rise to the Pasquali which we see today.