Hey Mister, catch! It’s been snowing steadily since late last night but not so heavy where it looks like we’ll be headed for a major disaster. Knock wood! The bad part is that in this weather, attending the Giubiana bonfire this evening is out of the question. Firmly rooted in Piemonte and Lombardy tradition, the symbolic burning of the Giubiana begets a fresh start on the new year, and since her name is said to come from the Roman god Giove, this dictates that her death occurs on the last Giovedì (Thursday) of January.
It’s all in the color of the flames…
As if it wasn’t enough to burn last year’s woes into toast. For those who worked the land, even the color of the fire was a big deal. Yellow flames meant there would be a lot of grain; red meant a good wine. I suppose orange (yellow+red) implied a really good year?
What to eat on this day
Alright, so no big fire but at least there’s the food. According to legend, saffron risotto with sausage brought an end to the Giubiana (she was so intent on eating that she didn’t see the rising sun and went up in smoke). Vin brulè and some kind of sweet treat like panettone or chiacchiere are also offered at organized events. I asked MotH to pick up some chiacchiere after work and he comes home with not one, but 2 packages – one for him and one for me.