“L’a Pitu e la Rocca” in Viggianello

This ritual of pagan origin, which over the course of time has combined with Christian tradition, is held annually in Viggianello; it is an event not to be missed, due to the solemnity of the occasion that sets it apart.

The arboreal rite is repeated three times a year in three different locations in the town: in the first week after Easter in the newest part of the Pedali district, and in the last week of August in the old town, where the celebrations coincide with religious services in honour of the Patron Saint, St. Francis of Paola. During the second weekend of September the “marriage” between the two plants takes place in Zarafa, in the name of the Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Salvation).

Spectators who are lucky enough to be in these places when the events take place have the opportunity to attend an ancestral rite, during which a beech tree or Turkey oak, ““l’a’ pitu”, and a fir tree, the “rocca”, are chosen and cut down in the woods the Pollino National Park and then transported by robust animals in a procession that winds through the streets of the territory of Viggianello.

As in all other arboreal rites of Basilicata, also in this case the most intense moment is the union of the two plants, a symbol of the celebration of nature and its indissoluble mysteries.