The Scarecrow Festival in the village of Castellar
The first week of May, an original and fairy-tale event in the heart of Piedmont
The guardians of the fields
For thirty years, the pretty village of Castellar has celebrated the original tradition of creating scarecrows to watch over the fields. On the day of the Festival, during the first week of May, the farmers' silent allies leave their tasks and are carried in a procession through the village. They then return to fields and vineyards, or remain to decorate the streets of the village.
The event is based on an old local tradition, that of placing scarecrows outside and inside the village, creating an artistic itinerary. For these are more than just straw men to scare birds away from the fields, and there is much more behind the festival...
More than simple puppets
Castellar's scarecrows have something magical and fairy tale-like: they all tell stories of everyday life and old trades, and have strong ties with the land and its history. The friendly “barabaciù” (scarecrows in the local dialect) welcome visitors with their colours, proud of their recycled materials: wood, straw, tin, canvas... everything becomes useful again!
Some of them are true works of art and young and old residents compete to create the most bizarre scarecrow ever. In this fairytale village, it is indeed the children who have a privileged role. In fact, each year the event promoters receive hundreds of scarecrows made by children from kindergartens and schools from all over Piedmont and even from outside the region.
A celebration for the whole territory
There are also several other attractions during the festival: musicians, story-tellers, acrobats and jugglers, as well as tastings of the Bronda Valley products, from Castelmagno cheese to Pelaverga wine. It is good to know that this grape variety is passionately cultivated on the hills of Castellar, and since 1996 has been recognised as D.O.C.
Pelaverga grapes produce a red wine with a fragrant, fruity aroma. On the occasion of the festival, the small inns of Castellar offer tastings of Pelaverga with local food products and traditional dishes. A toast to the scarecrows then, protecting the precious vineyards that produce this exceptional nectar!
For the occasion, the beautiful Castle, once belonging to the Marquises of Saluzzo, is also open, free of charge. The Castle is now a private residence and can only be visited on major occasions.
Credit to: Mitch77 ita