Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Panevin. January, Saturday 5th

i'm so happy to finally have a moment to sit down and talk about this, one of my very favorite traditions.
on the night between january 5th and 6th in almost every small village in veneto and friuli there are large bonfires, where people gather around, drinking hot wine and singing traditional song.
where i live, in treviso province, we call it panevin, but i heard people use different names, in other places around.
panevin is a dialectal word which means bread and wine, probably because of the simple food people used to bring and eat during this gatherings in the past.

tradition says panevin's fire burns all the worries and the bad things of the past years, and give people the chance to see how the new year will be, by looking at the smoke directions:
fuische a sera poenta pien caliera
fuische a matina, ciol su'l sac e va a farina
if the sparks are going west it will be a good year, with rich harvest {actually, the proverb doen't mention harvest but polenta, the main dish of poor countryside people of north italy in the past, made by cornmeal} but if they're going east, it's better you do your best at work, cause it's not going to be easy.

the night was great, not too cold. we sang, drank, ate and felt happy.
i'm wondering if something similar exists in other parts of the world. any special old tradition to welcome the new year? please, tell me your stories.

{the last two photos were taken with olympus om10 + fuji superia 1600. our afternoon before the bonfires were burned here}


  1. these photographs are impressive! I have never heard of such a tradition and it's so wonderful that you've decided to share it with us here! thank you for this, Silvia! :-)

  2. wonderful pictures!
    that proverb reminds me the one my grandmother used to tell me when i was little "rosso di sera bel tempo si spera.."

    we don't have any traditions here for the start of the year, not our own anyways, but last year i went to the japanese garden for a traditional bonfire festival called dondoh matsuri. you write the things that worried you in a piece of wood that is later set on fire while traditional drums play in the background. it's a very old peasant tradition :) it is said that the fire wakes the earth from its winter sleep, and that what you wrote on the little wooden boards becomes the energy that the soil needs for the crops to grow strong.

    1. thank you, toi ♥
      your grandmother taught you well!!

      that's a wonderful tradition, i've never heard of it when i was in japan. i remember you posted some photographs of in your blog months ago.. i'll go looking at them again.


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