The Epiphany pastiera: a tradition to be rediscovered

by Yuri Buono

There is a tradition rooted in Campania and especially in the most peasant countries, which provides for the preparation of the pastiera of wheat on the day of the Epiphany. I found out this morning, after a chat with Daniela, a friend of mine from Sarno, who already from the early hours of the day was delighted to prepare and post photos. Well, in addition to having aroused my hunger, it has also aroused my curiosity to the point of asking her how come he was preparing pastiere.

La pastiera dell'Epifania: una tradizione da riscoprire
The preparation of the pastiera of the epiphany. Photo: Daniela Mareschi

The Epiphany pastiera: a first Easter

She tells me that at her on January 6 the "first Easter" is celebrated, the day of the light of the child God. Their day has always been characterized by ignition of the wood oven; remember that the grandfather already at six in the morning began to fill it with bundles of wood until it turned white, to then welcome the main dishes of the lunch. Bread was made with pork cracklings - because this is also the initial slaughter period - and they ate macaroni pizza and pastiera di grain, as it is a symbol of light and hope.

The reason for this solemnity is to be found in the fact that, even today, in many areas - especially in the south - at the end Epiphany the word Easter is placed before it and, therefore, viene ricordata come “Pasqua Epifania”Or“ Passover of Light ”, as Pentecost was also called Easter of Roses and it was common to wash one's face in a container that contained water and rose petals.

pastiera dell'epifania
How many pastiere! Photo: Daniela Mareschi

We explain the Epiphany

Epiphany is also the first Feast of the year in which God reveals himself; indeed with It the first manifestation of the divinity of Jesus to the Magi is celebrated and it is for this reason that it is indicated as the "most holy day" in the Canon of the Mass, together with the Easter, Ascension, Pentecost and Christmas.
But there is more, once upon a time, the name day of who was called Easter was celebrated on January 6 (also due to the variability of the date of Easter) and in the archaic forms of the dialects of Puglia, the Hag was pronounced in "The Paska de la 'abbefanì' “.
Furthermore, and this is where we find the even clearer reference, during the Solemn Mass of the Epiphany, after the singing of the Gospel, the people are announced on the day of the next feast of Easter, which this year will fall on April 4th.

And, then, Happy Epiphany to all ... and happy pastiera!

Yuri Buono

La pastiera dell'Epifania: una tradizione da riscoprire
The tortano. Photo: Daniela Mareschi

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