The Coumba Freida Historical Carnival
- Saturday 11 January 2020
9.00 am meeting of the masks in the square
10.00 am departure of the parade from Frazione Balliard with visit to the hamlets of Ollomont accompanied by “I Lara’s Band”
Closing of the parade in Frazione Clappey with “minestrone” for everyone
According to tradition, this carnival event was established in commemoration of the march through the Great St. Bernard Pass by Napoleon and his troops in May 1800, during his campaign in Italy. The carnival costumes then are traditionally an allegorical transformation of the uniforms originally worn by the French soldiers. A bear is also represented and symbolises the arrival of Spring; mule tails represent the winds and are used to banish baleful breezes; the mirrors on the costumes ward off evil spirits and the bright red colour, which symbolises vigour and strength, also has the power to dispel dark spirits, ill omens and misfortune. During the parade, the carnival characters enter the homes of local families; they dance along the streets and in the squares and eat and drink whatever they are given.