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Bormio and Its Pasquali

Bormio and Its Pasquali

Among the Holy Week celebrations in northern Italy, Bormio offers its traditional Pasquali, a favorite in the Province of Sondrio. 
Bormio is a touristic hot spot within the Region of Lombardy, famous for both its magnificent ski slopes and its much sought-after thermal baths inside the majestic Stelvio National Park.
The Pasquali make for an authentic propitiatory rite to welcome the arrival of spring. During the ceremony, five lambs are blessed, and contests between the town’s neighborhoods are held.  

The tradition of the Pasquali derives from the custom of the lamb sacrifice. Indeed, the pasquale was the original structure on which the villagers placed the sacrificial lamb as an offering to God. 
The eventual use of adornments and decorations on the pasquale (or cart) transformed this rite into a sort of pageant of the carts that has survived up unto the present day. 
Today the Pasquali are religious-themed parade floats, realized by the citizens of Bormio, divided into five zones of town: Maggiore, Dossorovina, Buglio, Combo, and Dossiglio.

Thus, on Easter Sunday, the carts compete one with the other during the procession. Their form is essentially that of a litter or sedan chair in wood, decked out with fine artisanal works. 
The manufacture and embellishment of the carts begins right after Christmas, and involves all of Bormio. A peculiarity of the event is the secrecy of it all; no one is allowed to know anything about their adversaries’ carts before Easter. 
Then, on parade day, the cart obtaining the most points – based on criteria such as aesthetic apperance, religious significance and overall quality – wins. 
In addition to the pristine natural environment of the Alps of Valtellina, the Pasquali are another excellent reason for visiting the beautiful zone of Bormio.