The Coumba Freida Historical Carnival
- Saturday 25 January 2020
8.30 am – Meeting of the Benda in Cheillon hamlet and visiting of Thoules and Semon hamlets
2.30 pm – meeting with the children in front of the Municipality of Valpelline to parade together
4.30 pm – meeting of the masks in the central square and continuation of the parade towards the Pro Loco area with a snack for everyone accompanied by the band “Hiboux en Musique”; continuation of the parade to the Capoluogo
10.00 pm – dancing evening at the Pro Loco area with ” I ragazzi del villaggio ”
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.