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02 April 2023

The "Parme" of Bova


Italy is the country of a thousand cultural stratifications that mix and overlap, fueling a heritage of traditions, art and folklore that have always enriched the land with innumerable nuances. Numerous peoples have arrived and inhabited the peninsula leaving their imprints on the culture as in the case of the Greek minorities: the Grecanica in Calabria and the Grecia Salentina in Puglia.

The small Calabrian village of Bova is counted as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, a Jewel of Italy and Orange Flag awarded by the Touring Club. In addition to the ancient Greek language, here, ancient traditions are still alive, such as the one that takes place in days preceding Palm Sunday. An archaic and unique rite of its kind is renewed originating from the remote world of Greek mythology.

The Bovesi are involved in the creation of stupendous female figures with intertwined olive leaves, flowers, first fruits and colored ribbons, called by the Bovesi the "PARME”. They are connected to the prehistoric rites of Mother Earth, the passage of Spring, the cycle of life, the goddesses of agriculture Demeter and Persephone. With the coming of Christianity the pagan rite was not abandoned, but it was integrated into Palm Day; today they are made to praise the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

In the weeks preceding Palm Sunday, several local families gather to shape the structures made of cane and intertwined olive leaves. The work begins for the creation of the "Parme", workshops are opened to allow young people, children, schools and anyone who wants to try their hand at creating them. 

On Palm Sunday, these structures are brought in front of the churchyard of the Church of Santa Caterina, where they are blessed, to then continue on towards the Cathedral of Isodia, where the Holy Mass is celebrated. After the celebration, all go down to the square together, where they will be dismembered and distributed to anyone who wants to bring a "Sthedda" (piece) home as a sign of blessing, or out to the countryside to place on trees as a wish for a good harvest.


To find out the days and times of the event check the official website 

Comune di Bova


free entrance



free entrance


89033 Bova RC, Italia

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