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The Ciccicocco

(edited by Francesco Deplanu)

THE "CICCICOCCO", or "CICOLO" (Eugubino dialect) is an almost lost tradition of Easter Thursday in which the boys, often masked, went to knock on the door of the houses to ask for a gift, once pieces of fat, eggs and sausages with a skewer to collect them e  a basket, later used for pennies and candies.

The tradition is centuries old and perhaps linked to pre-Christian customs.  

What we do know is that from Città di Castello  up to Perugia, in the Cortona and Mercatale area  the name  of the custom and the modalities are the same,  in the Gubbio  the tradition is the same but only the name by which it is indicated differs:  " cicolo ". And in the rest of Italy? In the Modena area with "Unnṡer al spròoch" , to grease  the stick, always on Shrove Thursday, the boys went, it seems not in disguise, with a kind of spit to ask for fat in the countryside, knocking on doors with nursery rhymes. In Salento , in the province of Lecce, they did not ask for food but always disguised themselves for Fat Thursday and  groups of young people disguised themselves and went into the streets or from house to house carrying their jokes with jokes and allusions ("G. Palumbo," Some customs of the Carnival in the Province of Lecce ", Vol. 10, N.2, p. 127 , Olschki 1939).

In our homes, especially in the countryside, a piece of fat was hung, usually behind the door. Even with us they went with the spit pronouncing variants of nursery rhymes such as " Ciccicocco pane 'ntento, damme n'ovo pel mi' zi Menco ...  "Isotta Bottaccioli, on the other hand, remembers one  nursery rhyme  which was handed down to Niccone:  " Ciccicocco pane 'ntento, se' n mel de tel ficco drento ... "  very little reassuring given the use of the "spit".

A Lama on the border between Umbria and Tuscany  For 12 years, elementary schools have tried to transmit the memory of tradition to the youngest. We insert this video from TTV: ​


- Oral sources




-  G. Palumbo, " Some customs of the Carnival in the Province of Lecce ", Vol. 10, N.2, p. 127, Olschki 1939

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