If you happen to be celebrating Easter in Calabria and you arrive a little early, you may just come across what looks like a ragdoll hanging from a balcony or the side of a house. Not to panic, this is not some form of malocchio or evil eye, but Corajisima, a traditional practice during Lent in Italy, specifically, Calabria and other areas of the south.
WHAT IS CORAJISIMA?
Corajisima is more a who than a what. She is the wife or perhaps more accurately said, the widow, of Carnevale. She can also be called the sorella or sister of Carnevale. After the great feast of Martedì Grasso or Fat Tuesday, Carnevale, the embodiment of the revelries, dies. Poor Corajisima remains alone. Usually depicted as an ugly, skinny old woman with a decidedly unsettling appearance, she represents abstinence in the Lenten period.
Il carnevale è una festa che si celebra nei Paesi di tradizione cattolica. I festeggiamenti si svolgono spesso in pubbliche parate in cui dominano elementi giocosi e fantasiosi; in particolare, l’elemento distintivo e caratterizzante del carnevale è l’uso del mascheramento.
Il “Processo del Carnevale” è tra i festeggiamenti carnevaleschi più diffusi, infatti lo ritroviamo in molte regioni italiane e sopravvive anche nella tradizione popolare odierna. Dopo il testamento del Carnevale, al quale si addossano tutti i mali del vecchio ciclo annuale, di solito si usa metterlo a morte. L’uccisione può avvenire per per impiccagione o decapitazione ed è il momento culminante del dramma e dei festeggiamenti, ma la forma più usuale è quella del fuoco, ovvero la messa al rogo del fantoccio di Carnevale che troviamo in tantissime località.
If you use Face Book, be sure to find IFAFA’s FB page and follow it. We post information about our members’ activities, folk events in both the U.S. and Italy, and other items of cultural or folkloric interest. Once you receive our posts regularly, please interact with us! It “boosts our ratings” the more people like and comment on the postings, so please visit frequently and boost the ratings by liking and commenting often on the posts. Just looking at the page, but not participating, is not as helpful.
We would also like to receive more news from IFAFA troupes and individuals that we can post. Even if it is not likely that someone in California would be able to attend an event in, say, Rockford, IL, including posts about local events shows the breadth of IFAFA’s activities. When someone local does like a post, that person’s like may be seen by others who may then become aware of, and join, our page. If you have events that you would like to see on the IFAFA FB page, you may add it as a Visitor Post, or you may email pictures and brief descriptions to Jackie Capurro at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
ANNUAL ITALIAN CHRISTMAS MARKET
at the American Italian Heritage Museum
FRI., NOV. 30th & SAT., DEC. 1 st : 10 am to 5 pm // SUN., DEC. 2 nd: 11am to 3 pm
Share this festive Italian Tradition with us in our American Italian Heritage Museum building, 1227 Central Avenue in Albany, NY. Our exhibit rooms will be transformed into market places filled with so much for you to enjoy, each one having something for almost everyone on your Christmas shopping list ~ including yourself! Be sure to look for unique Italian merchandise that will be available for purchase featuring things that are hard to find: Italian language greeting cards, Made-in-Italy items, hand-made wood Ceppo, Befana figures, themed ornaments, plaques, novelties, jewelry, delicious homemade Italian baked goods & much more along with our talented vendors upstairs, including Nini’s Sicilian Salsa. Come, see the always beautiful room-sized Italian Nativity Special Exhibit and celebrate our culture at this most beautiful time of year. **Sit down in our Market Café & enjoy food, beverages & fellowship. Buon Natale!**
These flowers, handmade from wheat, are just one facet of the elaborate tradition in Jelsi, Molise, where an annual Festa del Grano is held in honor of Saint Anna. Search for more live video and archives of this enduring tradition.
If you are anywhere near Albany, NY, please help us to get the word out about this wonderful event. The purpose of the event to help our young people to know and appreciate their Italian heritage and culture. Free and open to the public.
–Prof./Cav. Philip J. DiNovo, President, American Italian Heritage Association <email@example.com>
Global Tarantella: Reinventing Southern Italian Folk Music and Dances
Incoronata Inserra, Virginia Commonwealth University
In Global Tarantella (University of Illinois Press, 2017) Incoronata Inserra ventures into the history, global circulation, and recontextualization of tarantella, a genre of Southern Italian folk music and dance. Examining tarantella’s changing image and role among Italians and Italian Americans, Inserra illuminates how factors like tourism, translation, and world music venues have shifted the ethics of place embedded in the tarantella cultural tradition. Once rooted in a world of rural Catholicism, tarantella now thrives in urban, secular, migrant, and ethnic settings. Inserra reveals how the genre’s changing dynamics contribute to reimagining Southern Italian identity and shows how its global growth promotes a reassessment of gender relations in the Italian South, helping create space for Italian and Italian American women to reclaim gendered aspects of the genre.
Calandra Italian American Institute
For more information, contact the Calandra Italian American Institute at:
— Patricia Civitate, Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa and Director of Il Trattenimento Italiano Folk Dance Troupe
This year marked the 21st anniversary of the St. Joseph Altar Celebration sponsored by the Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa. This event was successful because of the many hours that numerous volunteers spent making sure that this would be a truly traditional and spiritual undertaking. Sincere thanks to all those who made it happen.
Kathy Foggia and Mary Romanelli began early in February setting up the hall with the backdrop curtains and the three-tiered steps that formed the altar. They covered the steps with linens, attached the table skirts, and then proceeded to add the decorative breads, altar identification cards, and other symbols of faith. John Heldreth and Joseph Boehm donated additional fruits and vegetables and completed the decoration of the altars. Continue reading “St. Joseph Altar Celebration in Des Moines, IA”
IFAFA President Leslie Gigliotti returned home from New Orleans today, but she shared these pictures from an altar that she viewed over the weekend. From Leslie:
Saint Joseph’s day isn’t until Monday, but a hotel here put their altar up earlier this week. Churches, supermarkets, parochial schools, private homes all have viewings. The paper here puts out a listing.
The St. Patrick’s parade is over and the Irish (and honorary Irish) have gone home to sleep off their annual bout of intemperance, but the multi-generational marchers of the Italian-American St. Joseph Society in New Orleans are only just dusting off their tuxedos and straightening their bow ties. Once the shamrocks and shenanigans have vanished from the narrow streets of the French Quarter, and the keg of green beer is empty, another parade — in honor of an entirely different saint — is beginning to gear up. Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Feast Day in New Orleans”