Today we want to play Tombola with you!
From north to south, in Italy, Tombola is the Christmas game par excellence. Protagonist of family long evenings where both adults and children gather to spend a few hours in joy.
Have you ever heard about?
Tombola is very similar to bingo, very popular in Anglo-Saxon countries, but with a most ancient and curious story, that now we try to tell you.
According to the tradition, in 1734 the king of Naples, Carlo III of Borbone, and the Dominican friar Gregorio Maria Rocco had a small dispute.
Today we would like to tell you about Molise! A timid Italian region, less known, but with strong Christmas feelings and traditions.
These traditions, all with centuries-old origins, are numerous and suggestive and each year attract visitors from all over Italy.
Christmas in Molise is the richest period of excitement and nostalgia for the past. A past represented by zampogna (bagpipe), authentic symbol of this region. The characteristic sound of zampogne invades big and smaller towns, bringing a magic atmosphere and serenity. This bagpipe is not just a musical instrument but an ethnic symbol, which binds the population of Molise and its history in an indissoluble way. Zampogna in Molise is associated also with Christmas, a period when the bagpipers go door to door playing Christmas songs. It corresponds to the last nine days before Christmas, the bagpipers perform in fact the Novena, a beautiful piece of music called also Pastorella.
Photo by Molisiamo.it
In Molise there are also many enchanting events, some of those a mix of the profane and the sacred.
Old traditions and ancient customs relive in Christmas here in Abruzzo, within the picturesque snow-capped mountains. The days before Christmas Eve, bagpipers come down from the Gran Sasso and the Majella mountains to warm up the villages with Christmas nenias. That’s the signal that the feast is approaching.
Photo courtesy of Antonio Bini
Typical of the Christmas period are also the living nativity scenes, which are still today set up in large part of Abruzzo. Particularly striking is the one inside the Grotte di Stiffe. The most important however is the crib of Rivisondoli, represented by the magnificent mountain scenery of this village, whose old town turns into a little Bethlehem till the Epiphany.