Thursday, February 17, 2011

Viva La Liberazione! Valdesian (Waldensen) Liberation Day

Today is a special day in our valley. Val Chisone, Val Germansca and Val Pellice are collectively called the Valdesian (Waldensen) valleys. We are part of the province of Torino, but over the years we have been part of the last defense of the Savoy family for keeping the French at bay and as a refuge for the people  called Valdesian (Waldensian), an ancient  religion that broke with the Roman Catholic church and paid dearly for their beliefs. They were persecuted until on this date, February 17, 1948, the Savoy ruler,  King Charles Albert of Sardinia, granted them their freedom. You can read about them on Wikipedia, which has some interesting historical Waldensian reading. I did find there are some mispelled local towns and differences of the history as told here locally, but it really is a wealth of information on this ancient religion that is alive and well here.

Traditional Valdesian Costume
Liberation day is commemorated every year on the evening of the 16 February with bonfires up and down the valleys and a march in traditional costume to join in fellowship including worshiping and eating together, no matter the weather. You can read my previous posts with photos on the celebration here and here. You can find a traditional recipe or"Lâ Calhëtta dë Prâl", a Valdesian Soup in my recipe list and on the live link on the name of the recipe.
Valdesian symbols that you will decorating furniture and doors
 Come and discover the many charms and secrets our valleys have to offer. 
We'll help.

Post Script
I forgot to mention that this is also the start to the celebration of this being the 150th year of Italy being a united country. March 17th, 2011 will be the day we all celebrate together, "l'Unita' d'Italia". Viva l'Italia. 
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