, thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. In the Canada , it’s the third Thursday in November. In Vigolo Marchese in the United States in Emilia Romagna, it’s the second Sunday in October (this year). province of Piacenza
Thanksgiving in the town of
is not quite Thanksgiving as we know it, although there is turkey and chestnuts! The main event focuses on the blessing of the tractors. The blessing has been bestowed by the local parish priest every year for as long as anyone can remember. One of the local farmers, a cheerful, burly hulk of a man who was waiting next to his John Deer along with his two equally solid-looking sons told me that he still remembers driving on the back of his grandfather’s tractor to Vigolo for the annual blessing. That was over 50 years ago! Vigolo
The likelihood is that today’s mechanized blessing is an evolution of the longstanding tradition of a formal thanksgiving for the annual harvest. It therefore has parallels with Thanksgiving in the American sense which owes its origins to the time when Europeans first started arriving in the
, bringing with them their own harvest festival traditions. Americas
It arrives, of course, on the back of a tractor. Five birds in all, roasted to a golden, crisp brown perfection. The aroma is heavenly, mixed with the smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Wine bottles are opened and glasses are filled. A local butcher arrives with an armful of homemade salami. Thick wedges are cut and served on top of chunks of rustic country bread. There may well be turkey and chestnuts but ultimately, it’s a very Italian thanksgiving.