Alta Badia - Dolomites ItalySuedtirol



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Gnissant - All Saints' Day


On the 1st of November, the devotees in Val Badia celebrate Gnissant - the feast of All Saints. They remember their saints and celebrate a mass for the souls of the deceased.

It is also tradition that on this day the tot - the godfather and the tota - the godmother give their godchildren a small gift; a sweet white bread baked in the shape of an animal. For the boys a ciaval - a horse, and for the girls an iarina - a hen.

For the children of the past, this was a particularly treasured gift, because otherwise there was usually only dry rye bread to eat and sweets certainly not.

Since the horse, together with the hen, represents sexual power, the gift of these symbols could mean that future generations will carry the power of germination.

In the past it was also customary on this day to prepare cajincí arestis - half-moon-shaped ravioli filled with ricotta and potatoes or spinach and deep-fried in oil. These were placed on the table in the evening so that the souls of the deceased who came home during the night could eat them.

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