Celebrating la Giubiana a casa nostra

Playing catch on the first of 2014

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.

GioeubiaIt’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.

chiacchiere

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9 thoughts on “Celebrating la Giubiana a casa nostra

  1. tesorotreasures

    I love chiacchiere!! They look delicious! I’ve never heard of this holiday (and my parents grew up in Lombardy). Hmmm….I’ll have to ask my mom if it rings a bell. The burning fire reminds me of the burning of La Befana that I witnessed in Sesto Calende a few years ago on the feast of the Epiphany. They light a bonfire with a stuffed Befana at the top…and how she falls will predict how the year will go! So many funny little traditions – I love them all!

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    1. Rowena Post author

      Giubiana also goes by the names Gioeubia, Giobbia, Giöbia, Giobbiana, Giobiana, Zobia, Giünee, and Geneé, depending where you are in Lombardy or Piemonte. This tradition can even take on a different guise in particular areas, for example Ardesio (Bergamo), where they celebrate Scasada del Zenerù with a very noisy procession through the streets (a racket of bells, pans, horns – you name it) and a huge bonfire at the end. Even in the dead of winter, Italy has so many traditions to offer!

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  2. Lisa

    I love the pic of Mister!! My Dog Bear lives trying to catch snow balls too!! Your treats looks awesome! Stay cozy warm! Happy Friday Hugz! Lisa and Bear

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    1. Rowena Post author

      He is just so crazy for catching snowballs, digging in the snow, jumping in it…..and that’s where it ends. Once it gets too cold, he wants back into the house and into his doggie bed.

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    1. Rowena Post author

      He is just getting exceptionally good at reading my mind. I guess that’s expected after a decade together…..you probably know exactly what I mean. 🙂

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