Carnival of Saint-Rhemy-en-Bosses

The passage through the Great Saint Bernard Napoleon with an army of about 60.000 men, in extreme climatic conditions, It caused the inhabitants of the whole valley feelings of awe and admiration, up to deeply affect the collective imagination.
In fact even today, in the municipality of Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, They find signs and the appearance of the Napoleonic uniforms in typical costumes of Carnival. The parade of masks is open from Napoleon on horseback, followed the guide, who proudly flaunting the banner of Carnival and directs the whole group, playing a trumpet. His face is covered with a mustache and glasses: clear symbols of his undisputed authority.
They advance in tow i “players” that, with their accordions and saxophones, sing traditional songs. Then comes the Devil in his red cape trimmed with gold and decorated with bells, elegant representative of all evil and incomprehensible forces that playfully chases and tries to hit people with the classic pitchfork. You can also admire the “Demoiselles” accompanied by“Arlequins“, graceful and elegant masks. The clowns wear satin dresses, to colorful vertical stripes, a high hat, from which descend long colored ribbons; Complete all a long stick. Their Dame are not far behind, in their elegant velvet dress, with hats adorned with flowers and ribbons.
Here at last arrive “Mascre” (masks): They lead the procession those who wear clothes blacks, unmistakable sign of the difficult and dark days of winter, driven from white masks: sunny and bright days of spring. Following the Reds, i Verdi, Browns, i Blu, i Rosa, i Purple.
All parade in pairs, chasing people, the tease with “whip” horsehair, symbolizing the wind that drives away evil spirits, favoring the arrival of favorable agricultural season. Their costumes are velvet, inspired by the Napoleonic uniforms, complemented by a hat of the same color of the dress, covered with flowers and mirrors, worn with the tip pointing forward.
The clothes are covered with beads and sequins (circa 30.000), forming floral designs, strictly hand sewn by skilled seamstresses, which also occupy the difficult cutting of the fabric. The countless mirrors, present on the hats and jackets, They have the function to capture the sun's rays and to remove all the dark and malignant presences. A similar function covers the “gorgoillon”, heavy rattle brought to life. The face is then hidden by masks that were once in the cortex, while nowadays they have been replaced by plastic materials, even if there is a return to the use of wooden masks.

We do not forget, finally, the “Touch” the A “Tap”, two elderly spouses of the legend. In them is evident the role reversal that Carnival brings with it since in real life of the country are young people to marry. And now, large animals: proceeding with an unsteady gait and emitting strange noises, arrive Bears, wild appearances symbolizing the forces of nature on which man usually unfavorable, But, he intervenes trying to establish itself and fight; the Tamer, indeed, checking the animal, follows and, sometimes, He manages to keep it on a leash.

The parade is closed by the Doctor and the Cure. one tries to cure physical ailments, the other ones even more difficult spiritual.

The Carnival of Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses takes place the last Sunday of Carnival and Mardi Gras. It officially opens with a visit to the house of the Mayor; after Mass masks, dancing and jokes, They walk the streets and go to visit the families that receive them with joy and set tables. The Mardi Gras festivities have an end with a final dance.


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Appuntamenti a Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses:
– Sunday

ORE 10.30 Departure of the masks Predumaz Falcoz, in correspondence with the distributor Agip

ORE 12.30 Lunch with tourists in primary schools

ORE 14.30 Departure of the masks for the country


– Shrove Tuesday

Parade and visit to the hamlets