The Christmas period in Tremosine sul Garda is full of folklore lots of twinkling lights, creating wonderful memories for the entire family. Christmas is about ancient traditions, like the ones of Santa Lucia and Stella, still very popular in Tremosine sul Garda and on the lake.
The day of Santa Lucia
On December 13th, Tremosine sul Garda celebrates Santa Lucia, the saint with the donkey that rewards good children with sweets and small gifts.
On the evening of December 12th, young and old are waiting for the arrival of the saint - before going to sleep, children prepare a dish full of bran or flour for the donkey, hoping that the next morning it will be full of sweets and presents.
Some of Tremosine sul Garda's villages organize charity initiatives for children. In Pregasio, for example, young people travel around the town with a cart selling sweets, whose proceeds are donated to the elderly people’s home of Vesio di Tremosine sul Garda.
The songs of the star
In the villages of Tremosine sul Garda the Canto della Stella (Songs of the Star) is very popular. What is it about? During Christmas a group of singers, accompanied by accordions, cheer up the villages singing Christmas carols in the alleys and squares.
Why is it called "Canto della Stella"? Tradition says that singing should happen under an illuminated star - its light makes the narrow streets in the villages look truly magical.
Those who listen to the songs usually offer gifts or money to finance parish works, but also share sweets and mulled wine to celebrate Christmas together and exchange greetings.
The Lüminèi close the Christmas period
On January 5, the day before the Epiphany, the children of Tremosine sul Garda used to go from house to house to say prayers dedicated to the living, and to loved ones who are no longer with us.
This tradition is typical of the village of Sermerio. Before leaving the house, the children usually said the following phrase aloud: "Lüminèi, Lüminèi, polènta cùsa and formèi: with more the cùsa, la pàsa so mèi".
It is an invitation to donate the ingredients for polenta cusa: yellow flour, oil, butter and cheeses. During the evening of the "Lüminèi" it was common to enjoy this traditional dish, together with a good glass of hot mulled wine.
Curious fact: a ritual for boys
Like many traditions of the past, the Lüminèi was dedicated exclusively to boys. The girls were excluded from this sort of rite of passage, reserved for males from 4 to 14 years.