Updated: Jan 19

Let's start talking about the BELLEZZA of the Bagolino carnival starting right from the town.

Bagolino is a town in Brescia located in the mountains of the Caffaro Valley, a valley which is part of the Valle Sabbia area.

The name of the town is thought to derive from the Roman word “Pagus” meaning village. At the time, we are talking a little over 2000 years ago, the country was thought to be an accommodation, an establishment for travelers, that the Romans had built it as a trading station for horses and that a small village had been built around it. We start from a "small village". It is thought that the settlement was called Pagolo or even Pagolino. From here derives the present name Bagolino.

It should be known that Bagolino is divided into two districts: Cävril (Caprile) and Ösná (Visna).

Another beauty of this carnival? Just think, this year the Bagolino Carnival has been celebrated for 500 years. The first texts in which we start talking about the festival date back to 1518.

The main characters of the carnival are: I Balarì (Dancers), the Mascher and finally the players.

Let's find out the role and division of these characters.

The Balarì.

These characters are a bit of the soul of the party. The role is filled only by men and they represent both groom (Capo) than the bride (Figüra). Until a few decades ago the costumes of the two figures stood out, today they both dress in the same clothes. The Balarì dance accompanied by a "Socio" (Partner).

They are led by two Ballroom Leaders (one represented in the photograph). They dance on Shrove Monday and Tuesday. On Mondays, the carnival begins with the Mass of the Balerì at 6:30 in the morning. After mass, the first ballad begins immediately. We dance on Mondays in the Cävril area, starting from the upper area up to the center where Piazza Marconi is located, while on Tuesdays we do the same in Ösná, we start from above and then arrive in Piazza Marconi where it ends with the last ballad which is Ariòṡa.

The preparations for the party begin immediately after Christmas, when the Balarì go to the homes of their girlfriends and women of the family to look for gold to decorate their hats. In fact, the hat is adorned with gold jewelry and precious pearls. It is "dressed" by the women who have lent the gold and the dressing can last up to two days. In addition to the golds there are also the ribbons and the red coating at the base.

The dances are then led by two Dance Leader, who together with the Balarì and the players make a stop under the women's house where each dancer has taken gold because it is said that they have "obligations" to dissolve. Then the women lend and dress the hat, then the dancers offer them one or more dances.

There are 25 ballads, each one different from the other. They all dance in two parallel rows except the Ariòṡa which is danced in a circle.

The Mascher

Unlike the Balarì, not a program to follow. They generally move in groups and represent the Vecio (old) and the Vecia (old).

These two characters are nothing more than a mockery of the Malghesi. They are represented as poorly maintained, noisy people (in fact, they wear spiked boots to make noise) who do nothing but make jokes all day. Their costume is made up of the traditional dress used by peasants until the 1950s, therefore a very poor dress.

Vecio: long johns, ceviöl (a pair of black moleskin trousers), an opening flap, white embroidered shirt, waistcoat, cloth jacket with large pockets, knee-length gaiters and studded clogs.

Vecia: knickers closed by a button, white linen petticoat, sochèt (short-sleeved cotton dress), gurnèl (long-sleeved winter dress), dark-colored striped apron (in "Gèda" wool, "Bogröla" cotton ), black or flowered wool shawl (Fasöl), white or red wool socks and studded clogs.

The Carnival ends with the final Ariòṡa on Tuesday evening in Piazza Marconi. They also call it the Ballad of Crying. It is a very heartfelt moment, very energetic. Here the strength of this carnival is best revealed, sharing. The Balarì exchange with each other, congratulate each other, jump, dance, get crazy. At the end of the ballad take off the masks, people enter the square and Balarì get lost.


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