Bringing the beast back

It’s not a word that you will meet everyday in your fast and furious lives in the cities. It means something like, bringing the beast back or to the fields in the mountains, and is celebrated in many parts of Italy. Mostly in the spring or in the late fall.

In Mendatica, this celebration takes place every last weekend in September. People gather from all over the region, as far away as Imperia and Sanremo, just to be able to be part of this, very particular village feast.

On three days late September, everything is turned upside down in the village of Mendatica, in the upper valley of Arroscia, more precise in the Alta Valle Arroscia.

The shepherds bring the beast down from the mountain pasture. These days, it’s a show off, because they do the same trip, three days in a row, but it’s still great fun to look at, and you get a good impression, what living with animals means, in these parts of the world.

The spectacle takes place in the narrow streets, and on a central green field in the village. People are dressed up, as if they were coming directly from the past.

In the green field, young people are encouraged to take part in the games, which celebrates the lives in the past. Games like carrying milk or eggs. More like Olympic games really.

Don’t miss it in 2020!