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Bologna’s Festa della Porchetta

Paul at the excellent BibliOdyssey blog, has a post with a series of fascinating prints depicting Bologna’s annual Festa della Porchetta – the Festival of the Suckling Pig, celebrated by the Bolognese for five centuries until the arrival of Napolean’s army in 1796. The tradition has apparently been revived in the last decade – including a shared roasted pig – to help spread peace in the city. Click the detail image to link to the full image.

From Paul’s post:

“Bologna’s Festa della Porchetta was an annual carnival held on 24 August for more than five centuries. It commemorated both the Feast of St Bartholomew and the victory of Bolognese forces over Frederick II during the Battle of Fossalta in 1249. Frederick’s son, King Enzo, was imprisoned for thirty years in the city centre in a tower that now bears his name, adjacent to where the Porchetta celebrations took place in Palazzo Maggiore.

It was customary for the city’s nobles to enjoy a banquet in a palace fronting onto Palazzo Maggiore, and a spit-roasted suckling pig, together with poultry, breads, cheeses and cakes, was thrown from the balcony for the regular townsfolk to fight over. The festivities evolved over the centuries into large-scale affairs with acrobats, games, singing and dancing, in theatrical productions of wars, historical events and allegorical performance plays. Giant purpose-specific floats, stages, theatre props and machinery were constructed each year to accommodate the unique requirements of the year’s entertainment theme.”

View the many images and read the entire post at BibliOdyssey

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