Religious Traditions

The ancient art of madonnari

The pavement artists are street artists so called because of the holy images , mainly Madonnas , which are used to draw the street .
These artists move from one country to another during the numerous festivities and festivals in Salento and execute their designs with colored chalk on the pavement ; to work concluded that await passersby leave them an offer , usually a few coins .
These works are destined to fade after a few days of construction , testimony to a tradition that endures in time and which never ceases to fascinate .

Tables of Saint Joseph

The custom of staging large tables in honor of St. Joseph is a tradition that takes place every year on 19 March, in some areas of Salento. When a devout family, for favors received or request, decides to do the “table” follows precise rules and prepare typical dishes that have a symbolic meaning and ritual: the pasta with chickpeas, vermicelli, bucatini with honey crumb fried bread, boiled cabbage, wild onions, fried fish, fennel, pittule, bread and oranges. Everything is studied in detail, from the tablecloth to the flowers, to seats that three, those reserved to the Holy Family with St. Joseph, Mary and Jesus, may reach a maximum of thirteen, always in odd numbers, which are occupied by saints embodied today by friends and relatives of the family while originally were chosen among the country’s poor. The blessing of the boards takes place during the procession on the day of the vigil, while the consumption of lunch happens 19 noon.

In Bethlehem Salento

Tricase , for over thirty years , is staging his nativity scene , one of the most famous of Salento . Nestled in the countryside , the nativity scene is represented on the hill of Monte Orco with hundreds of people spread over a distance of almost two kilometers that plays a small Bethlehem in the heart of Salento . Among biblical scenes and settings that recall the context of the rural culture of Salento are placed small shops with crafts of yesteryear , the sumptuous palace of Herod , the home of the Romans and the Synagogue . It really seems to be in Bethlehem reads the sign at the beginning of the citadel . A magnificent play of light that only deserves to be seen


In the folk tradition of Salento Caremma or Quaremma is a puppet exposed on the terraces of the houses symbolizing the beginning of the Lenten season with the look of an elderly woman dressed in black in mourning for the death of the Carnival . It is represented with a hand in the wool yarn and the time , the symbol of the passage of time , and in the other an orange with its acrid taste refer to the suffering . On the surface of the fruit they are stuck seven pens , one for each week of abstinence and sacrifice preceding the day of Easter . Every week it is removed one .
At the end of the period – at noon on Easter – the Caremma is removed from the deck , hanging by a thread on a pole and burned as a rite of purification ; the time is announced by the sound of bells that indicate the Resurrection .