The Walking Forest – Satriano Carnival
The Walking Forest: unusual Carnival with men dressed as trees.
The Satriano Carnival is taking place in February in a small town located in the National Park of Lucano Apennines, in the province of Potenza.
It is called “The Walking Forest” as it is a unique event where men are dressing up like trees: these men, called Rumita (from the word ‘hermit’), are completely covered in ivy leaves and wear a walking stick with a branch of butcher’s-broom (called frùscio) at the top.
On Saturday there is also a wedding celebration with role reversals, where men dress up as women and vice-versa.
On Sunday, the Rumìtas, dressed as trees, leave the forest and arrive in the village. While they wander the streets, they knock on people’s house with the frùscio. According to tradition, this ceremony brings luck and Rumitas receive, in exchange, food and gifts.
Satriano Carnival’s Walking Forestis symbolically composed by 131 walking trees, which represent the 131 towns of Basilicata. The event is organized by the association Al Parco in collaboration with Satriano’s Municipality, the National Park of Apennine Lucano, APT Basilicata, associations, volunteers and private corporates.
Everybody can participate in the event by dressing up as a tree and becoming a Rumita for a day and transmittingan ecological message: to restore an old relationship with the Earth to respect the future generations.
The Carnival of Satriano is also a green event:
– biodegradable glasses,
– advertising material printed on FSC paper,
– seasonal and farm food,
– garbage selected and divided following strict rules of recycling.
(photos: event’s Facebook page)