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Maggio Di Accettura


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Phyllida Hofmann



Accettura, a small town located in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy, comes alive with vibrant colors, captivating performances, and an air of festivity during the annual celebration of Maggio di Accettura. This unique and traditional festival, held during the month of May, is a reflection of the rich cultural heritage of the region and has become a significant event in the local calendar.


With a history spanning centuries, Maggio di Accettura has deep roots in the traditions and customs of the community. The festival not only serves as a time-honored practice to preserve cultural heritage, but also as a way to bring people together, foster a sense of belonging, and share the beauty of their traditions with visitors from far and wide.


During the month of May, Accettura transforms into a living museum of vibrant displays, traditional performances, and culinary delights. The streets of the town, adorned with colorful decorations and intricate traditional costumes, become a stage for captivating events that showcase the unique traditions and folklore of the region.


As the festival approaches, anticipation and excitement fill the air, as the locals eagerly prepare for this annual extravaganza. From the young to the old, the entire community comes together to ensure the success of the festival, dedicating their time and effort to celebrate their heritage and create lasting memories.


The magic of Maggio di Accettura lies in its ability to transport both locals and visitors back in time, to an era where tradition and folklore played an integral role in daily life. It is a testament to the resilience and determination of the community to preserve their cultural identity, despite the ever-changing modern world.


In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the history of Accettura, the significance of Maggio di Accettura, the traditional events and performances that take place during the festival, the rituals and symbolism behind them, the culinary delights that tantalize the taste buds of attendees, and the contemporary relevance of this captivating celebration of arts and culture.


History of Accettura

The history of Accettura stretches back thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation in the area dating back to the Paleolithic era. Over the centuries, various civilizations have left their mark on the town, shaping its culture and traditions.


Accettura was part of the ancient territory of Lucania, and later became a Roman colony. During the Middle Ages, it was under the control of various feudal lords, including the powerful Sanseverino family. This period of feudal rule left its mark on the town, with the construction of defensive walls and towers, reflecting the turbulent times of the era.


During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, Accettura experienced a cultural flourishing, with the construction of numerous churches and palaces that still stand as a testament to this rich heritage. The town also played a significant role during the Risorgimento, the movement for Italian unification in the 19th century.


The history of Accettura is deeply intertwined with its agricultural traditions, as the town has long been known for its pastoral and agricultural activities. The surrounding countryside, with its fertile soil and favorable climate, has allowed the cultivation of various crops and the rearing of livestock, providing sustenance for the local community.


Accettura also has a history of shepherding, with the transhumance tradition of moving livestock between different grazing areas during the changing seasons. This practice, deeply rooted in the town’s history, is still celebrated through various events and rituals during Maggio di Accettura.


Throughout its history, Accettura has faced its fair share of challenges, from invasions to natural disasters, yet the town has managed to preserve its cultural identity and traditions. Today, it stands as a living testament to the resilience and spirit of its people, who are dedicated to keeping their heritage alive.


The history of Accettura provides the backdrop for the annual celebration of Maggio di Accettura, as the festival serves as a way to honor and showcase the town’s rich cultural heritage. Each year, this vibrant event brings together locals and visitors alike, creating a sense of unity and pride in their shared history and traditions.


Celebration of Maggio di Accettura

Maggio di Accettura is a month-long celebration that takes place annually in the picturesque town of Accettura. The festival is a true feast for the senses, as the streets come alive with vibrant colors, lively music, and a palpable sense of excitement.


The celebration of Maggio di Accettura is a time-honored tradition that showcases the town’s deep-rooted agricultural heritage and pays homage to the cycles of nature. It takes place during the month of May, a time when the countryside is in full bloom and the landscape is transformed into a picturesque tapestry.


The festival kicks off with an opening ceremony that marks the beginning of a series of events, performances, and artistic displays. The streets of Accettura are adorned with intricate decorations, combining elements of nature, tradition, and creativity. Visitors are greeted with a visual spectacle as they make their way through the winding alleys and bustling squares, taking in the sights and sounds of the festival.


One of the highlights of the festival is the procession of the “Maggio,” a tall tree-like structure adorned with colorful ribbons, flowers, and symbolic elements. The Maggio represents the connection between earth and sky, and its presence symbolizes the renewal and fertility of nature. The procession is a grand spectacle, with locals dressed in traditional attire, accompanying the Maggio through the town’s streets amidst music and cheers.


Throughout the month, visitors can enjoy a wide array of cultural events and performances. Traditional dances, music concerts, and theatrical performances take place in various venues throughout the town, showcasing the talents of local artists and enlivening the spirit of the festival.


The celebration of Maggio di Accettura is also an opportunity to indulge in the flavors of the region. Local delicacies, made with traditional recipes passed down through generations, are showcased in street food stalls and local eateries. From savory treats like “salsiccia di Maggio” (sausage) to sweet delights like “taralli dolci” (sweet biscuits), the culinary offerings of Accettura are a true delight for food enthusiasts.


In addition to the cultural and culinary experiences, visitors can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. Guided tours and excursions are organized to explore the scenic landscapes, allowing visitors to connect with nature and appreciate the rich biodiversity of the area.


The celebration of Maggio di Accettura serves as a time of joy and unity for the local community, who come together to ensure the success of the festival. It is a cherished tradition that celebrates the town’s unique culture, fosters a sense of belonging, and showcases the warmth and hospitality of the people of Accettura.


Whether you are a cultural enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a captivating and immersive experience, Maggio di Accettura offers a one-of-a-kind celebration that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the heritage and traditions of this enchanting town.


Traditional Events and Performances

Maggio di Accettura is steeped in tradition, with a wide array of events and performances that showcase the cultural heritage of the region. These traditional celebrations are a highlight of the festival, creating an immersive experience for both locals and visitors.


One of the most anticipated events is the traditional dance performance known as “La Sona.” Dancers, dressed in colorful traditional costumes, gather in the town square and perform intricate choreography to the beat of traditional music. The lively and energetic dance showcases the skill and grace of the performers, and is a true testament to the rich history and cultural significance of the region.


Another integral part of the festival is the reenactment of the transhumance tradition. Local shepherds guide their sheep through the streets of Accettura, recreating the ancient practice of moving livestock between different grazing areas. This symbolic event pays homage to the town’s agricultural roots and serves as a reminder of the deep connection between the community and the land.


The “Canto delle Case” (House Singing) is a unique and cherished tradition during Maggio di Accettura. Local singers, known as “cantori,” gather in the town’s courtyards and balconies to serenade the audience with traditional folk songs. The haunting melodies and heartfelt lyrics tell stories of love, struggle, and the beauty of Accettura’s landscapes.


The art of puppetry, known as “Opera dei Pupi,” also takes center stage during the festival. Handcrafted puppets, with intricate costumes and lifelike movements, come to life in captivating performances. These puppet shows often recount ancient tales and legends, entertaining both young and old with their enchanting storytelling.


One of the most visually stunning events is the “Luminarie,” a spectacular display of illuminated arches and decorations that line the streets of Accettura. These intricate structures, adorned with thousands of lights, create a magical ambiance as day turns to night. The “Luminarie” are a true testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the local artisans, who work tirelessly to create these breathtaking installations.


Throughout the festival, visitors can also witness traditional craftsmanship through demonstrations of local artisans. From woodworking to basket weaving, these skilled artisans showcase their talents and keep traditional crafts alive in a modern world.


These traditional events and performances are a testament to the deep-rooted cultural traditions of Accettura. They serve as a way to pass on ancestral knowledge, celebrate the history of the region, and provide a glimpse into a bygone era.


Attending these events and performances during Maggio di Accettura is an immersive and awe-inspiring experience. It allows visitors to connect with the authentic traditions of the town, be mesmerized by the local talent, and gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage that sets Accettura apart.


Rituals and Symbolism

The celebration of Maggio di Accettura is rich in rituals and symbolism, reflecting the deep spiritual connection that the community has with their traditions and the natural world. These rituals and symbols play a significant role in the festival, adding depth and meaning to the various events and performances.


One of the most prominent symbols during Maggio di Accettura is the “Maggio,” a tall tree-like structure adorned with colorful ribbons, flowers, and symbolic elements. The Maggio represents the connection between the earth and the sky, symbolizing the renewal and fertility of nature. It is meticulously constructed by the locals, who consider it an integral part of the festival.


The procession of the Maggio through the streets of Accettura is a sight to behold. It signifies the passage from winter to spring, and is a symbol of hope and new beginnings. The music, cheers, and sense of unity that accompany the procession create a festive atmosphere that is truly magical.


Another important ritual is the transhumance reenactment, where shepherds guide their sheep through the town’s streets. This ritual represents the harmonious relationship between humans and animals, highlighting the agricultural traditions that have shaped the town’s history. The procession serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and respecting the natural world.


The “Canto delle Case” (House Singing) is a ritual infused with symbolism and emotion. As local singers serenade the audience with traditional folk songs, the lyrics tell stories of love, hardships, and the beauty of Accettura’s landscapes. This ritual creates a sense of nostalgia and rekindles a connection to the past, fostering a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage of the town.


Throughout the festival, there are also collective moments of prayer and reflection. They provide an opportunity for the community to come together, express gratitude, and seek blessings for the year ahead. These rituals serve as a reminder of the spiritual aspect of Maggio di Accettura and the importance of faith in the lives of the locals.


The “Luminarie,” the illuminated arches and decorations, have their own symbolism as well. The lights symbolize hope, enlightenment, and a guiding light through the darkness. The intricate designs and mesmerizing glow create a sense of wonder and beauty, adding another layer of symbolism to the festival.


These rituals and symbols are not only an integral part of Maggio di Accettura, but they also provide a deeper understanding of the community’s values, beliefs, and connection to nature. They remind us of the importance of preserving cultural traditions and finding meaning in the rituals we celebrate.


Experiencing these rituals and deciphering their symbolism allows visitors to connect on a deeper level with the festival and the culture of Accettura. It is a beautiful testament to the power of traditions to unite communities, create a sense of belonging, and honor the wonders of the natural world.


Culinary Delights of Maggio di Accettura

Maggio di Accettura is not only a celebration of culture and traditions but also a feast for the taste buds. The festival showcases the culinary delights of the region, offering a tantalizing array of flavors and dishes that are deeply rooted in the local traditions and ingredients.


Accettura is known for its rich agricultural heritage, and this is beautifully reflected in the traditional cuisine that is showcased during the festival. Visitors have the opportunity to indulge in a variety of savory and sweet treats that are lovingly prepared by the locals.


One of the highlights of the festival is the “salsiccia di Maggio.” This traditional sausage is made using a special recipe that has been passed down through generations. The flavors are bold and savory, with a perfect balance of herbs and spices. The sausage is usually grilled and served with fresh bread, creating a mouthwatering combination that is hard to resist.


Accompanying the salsiccia di Maggio are other traditional meat dishes such as roasted lamb and pork. The meats are often infused with aromatic herbs and slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in tender and flavorful dishes that melt in your mouth.


The festival also offers a variety of vegetarian options that are equally delectable. Local farmers harvest an abundance of fresh vegetables during spring, and these are transformed into delicious dishes that celebrate the flavors of the season. From roasted vegetables drizzled with olive oil to hearty vegetable stews, there is something to satisfy every palate.


No festival in Italy is complete without pasta, and Maggio di Accettura is no exception. Visitors can savor homemade pasta dishes that range from simple yet flavorful tomato sauces to more elaborate preparations with local ingredients such as wild mushrooms and truffles. The pasta is often handcrafted by skilled artisans, ensuring the highest quality and a truly authentic experience.


For those with a sweet tooth, Maggio di Accettura offers a wide array of traditional desserts and pastries. Among the favorites are the “taralli dolci,” sweet biscuits made with almond flour, honey, and citrus zest. These delightful treats are often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet Vin Santo wine.


Accompanying the culinary delights of Maggio di Accettura are the locally produced wines. The region is known for its winemaking traditions, and visitors have the opportunity to taste a variety of red, white, and rosé wines that perfectly complement the flavors of the cuisine.


Whether indulging in the savory dishes or satisfying your sweet cravings, the culinary delights of Maggio di Accettura are sure to leave a lasting impression. They are a testament to the region’s rich gastronomic traditions, the use of fresh local ingredients, and the passion of the local chefs and bakers who lovingly prepare these mouthwatering treats.


So come with an empty stomach and an open mind, and let the culinary journey of Maggio di Accettura be a truly unforgettable experience.


Contemporary Significance of the Festival

Maggio di Accettura holds a significant place in the contemporary context, as it serves not only as a celebration of the town’s rich cultural heritage but also as a catalyst for community unity, tourism, and economic growth.


One of the key contemporary significances of the festival is its ability to bring the community together. Maggio di Accettura serves as a focal point of the year when locals can reconnect with their traditions and be proud of their cultural heritage. The festival strengthens the sense of belonging and identity among the residents, fostering a collective pride in their shared history and customs.


Additionally, Maggio di Accettura has become a major touristic attraction, drawing visitors from near and far who are eager to experience the unique blend of arts, traditions, and culinary delights. The festival not only enriches the cultural landscape of the town but also provides economic benefits by supporting local businesses such as accommodations, restaurants, and artisans.


Maggio di Accettura also plays a role in preserving the traditional crafts and skills that have been passed down through generations. The festival provides a platform for local artisans to showcase their work, ensuring the survival of traditional crafts such as woodworking, basket weaving, and puppetry. This helps to sustain these crafts, ensuring their continuation and contributing to the cultural vitality of the region.


Furthermore, the festival’s emphasis on organic farming, sustainable practices, and the use of local produce aligns with the contemporary movement towards more environmentally conscious living. Maggio di Accettura promotes an appreciation for nature, highlighting the importance of preserving the environment and supporting local agriculture.


As an annual event, Maggio di Accettura also serves as an opportunity for reflection and introspection. The festival allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the town’s heritage, connecting past traditions with the present generation. It serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural preservation and inspires future generations to carry forward these customs.


Overall, the contemporary significance of Maggio di Accettura lies in its ability to foster community cohesion, promote cultural tourism, support local businesses, preserve traditional crafts, and advocate for sustainable practices. The festival acts as a bridge between the past, present, and future, ensuring the town’s cultural heritage remains vibrant and relevant.


By celebrating Maggio di Accettura, both locals and visitors contribute to the preservation and promotion of the town’s unique traditions, helping to ensure that this captivating festival continues to thrive for generations to come.



Maggio di Accettura, with its vibrant celebrations, rich traditions, and culinary delights, is a testament to the cultural heritage and resilience of the town of Accettura. This month-long festival serves as a time-honored practice to preserve and showcase the deep-rooted traditions that have shaped the identity of the community.


Through a journey back in time, visitors and locals alike are transported to an era where customs, rituals, and folklore played a significant role in daily life. The festival not only celebrates the past, but also brings the community together, fostering unity, connection, and a sense of pride in their heritage.


Maggio di Accettura is more than just a spectacle of artistic performances and mouthwatering cuisine – it is a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit, the importance of cultural preservation, and the power of traditions to create lasting connections.


As a contemporary event, the festival serves as a catalyst for tourism and economic growth, supporting local businesses and showcasing the craftsmanship of artisans. It also promotes sustainability and an appreciation for the natural world, contributing to the global movement towards more mindful and eco-friendly practices.


With each passing year, Maggio di Accettura continues to evolve, embracing change while staying true to its roots. This festival is not only a way to honor the town’s history and customs, but also a reminder of the importance of cultural heritage in shaping our present and inspiring future generations.


Whether it’s witnessing traditional dances, indulging in the delicious flavors of the region, or immersing oneself in the symbolism and rituals, Maggio di Accettura offers an enchanting experience for all. It is an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the arts, culture, and traditions that contribute to the colorful tapestry of Italian heritage.


So, if you find yourself in the Basilicata region in May, make sure to visit Accettura and immerse yourself in the magic of Maggio di Accettura. Allow yourself to be captivated by the sights, sounds, and tastes of this vibrant festival, and discover a unique cultural experience that will leave an indelible mark on your memories.