What it is and where it is
White jacket and pants, white woolen socks, black shoes. On his head a cone-shaped straw hat ending in a central stem and small stems sticking out of the first, all adorned with colored paper tassels. An alpenstock in his hand to aid the march. Tied to the back stand three cowbells, accompanying each movement with their sound. This is the attire of the Blumari. Their mission is to complete their run without ever falling. Impassive witness to every fall is the whiteness of the robes: it takes very little to soil them, so watch out!
Why it is special
Montefosca is a Pulfero hamlet that lies among the mountains near the border with Slovenia. The culture of this area harks back to Slavic culture and has its roots in ancient times. Carnival also thrives on these nuances. The masks and traditions one encounters are truly unique. The Blumari, for example, defy cold and fatigue, spread colors and sounds, and stand undaunted by the passage of time. When you see a Blumar running toward you, know that you are looking at the last of the traditional masks of the Montefosca carnival.
Not to be missed
They run between Paceida and Montefosca, must never fall and must repeat as many laps of the course as there are Blumari participants, traditionally never fewer than 5 and never more than 11. The colors of their hats and the sound of their cowbells seem to want to awaken the mountain from its winter torpor, heralding spring. The race, in fact, takes place at the end of the carnival, on the last Sunday, to be exact, when by now the warm weather is approaching.
A bit of history
Tradition dictates that only men of marriageable age should wear the shoes of the Blumari. Today they just have to run on paved, dirt, sloping and, depending on the year, snow- and ice-covered terrain. Once upon a time, more obstacles were added to overcome, and just like today, woe to those who fell. A true test of endurance, as if to mark the transition from youth to adult life. Who knows, maybe this festival is nothing more than the memory of an ancient initiation rite!
The colorful tassels on the hat are reminiscent of flowers swaying in the wind. It should come as little surprise then that the name Blumar is so similar to "blume," the German word for flower.
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