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The Rituals of Trees in Basilicata, Italy

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Basilicata, a region located in southern Italy, is known for its stunning landscapes and cultural heritage. Among the most fascinating and lesser-known traditions of this land are the rituals of trees, which have been practiced for centuries by the local population.

These rituals are rooted in the ancient pagan culture of the Lucanians, the original inhabitants of Basilicata. Even after the arrival of Christianity, many of these traditions persisted and were integrated into the local religious practices.

One of the most important rituals is the "Albero della Cuccagna" (Pole of Plenty) which takes place during the celebration of the patron saint of the town. The pole, made of a tall tree trunk, is erected in the central square and covered with slippery substances such as soap or lard. The goal is to climb the pole and reach the top where a prize awaits the winner.

Another tree ritual is the "Festa dei Candelieri" (Festival of the Candles) held in the town of Grottaglie. During this festival, large wooden candles are carried on the shoulders of participants, accompanied by music and a lively procession through the streets.

In the town of Accettura, the "Festa della Quercia" (Festival of the Oak) is held annually to honor a magnificent oak tree located in the town's outskirts. The tree is decorated with ribbons and lights, and a procession takes place with the participation of locals wearing traditional costumes.

These rituals of trees in Basilicata are not only important traditions but also unique cultural experiences that attract tourists from all over the world. They are a testament to the region's deep connection with nature and its ancient cultural roots.

In conclusion, the rituals of trees in Basilicata are a fascinating part of the region's cultural heritage that have been passed down from generation to generation. By participating in these rituals, tourists can experience the rich history and traditions of this beautiful land.