Traditions

Pagan Rituals, Religious Customs, and Celebrations

The community of the Fersina Valley cherishes with love and dedication ancient traditions passed down over the centuries, preserving not only their own language but also age-old rites that continue to resonate with life to this day.

The Consecration

One of the most significant celebrations is the consecration, a crucial rite of passage for young Mòcheni reaching adulthood. During the Christmas season, boys approaching their eighteenth birthday are “crowned” as koskrötn. They wear distinctive symbols such as the kronz, an elaborate headdress adorned with beads and dried flowers, and the fazol, a tricolor scarf reminiscent of the Italian flag.

Throughout the year of their eighteenth birthday, the koskrötn take on a central role in community celebrations, actively participating in events such as New Year’s and Epiphany festivities, carnival processions, and other significant moments, forging deep friendships that will accompany them throughout their lives.

The Stèla

Another peculiar ritual of the Fersina Valley is the Stèla, an ancient rite still alive in the communities of Palù/Palai and Fierozzo/Vlarotz. Around the Christmas season, groups of singers, led by the conscripts, visit homes singing traditional songs and collecting offerings for masses in remembrance of the deceased.

The conscripts carry with them a large decorated star mounted on a tall pole, traversing the valley’s farms in an atmosphere of profound spirituality and sharing.

Carnival

Carnival plays a fundamental role in the life of the community, culminating in the traditional Fat Tuesday. During this celebration, the old man and the old woman – called bètscho and de bètscha – parade through the village sowing fertility and abundance. The ritual also involves the so-called òiartroger, the egg collector, who visits homes to gather eggs offered by families as a sign of blessing.

The day concludes with the symbolic death of the old couple and the reading of their wills, actively involving the young conscripts, while young women prepare cakes to celebrate the occasion. The bonfire of the old man’s hump marks the end of the carnival, symbolizing the farewell to winter and the opening to the rebirth of spring.