Meltar Boutique Hotel
Meltar street, 1 - 36012 Asiago
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Traditions


The Great Rogation
13 hours and 30 kilometres walk: a date that has been repeated every year for centuries on the day before Ascension. It is the repetition of an ancient ritual of more than 600 years old, of propitiary wanderings asking for a good harvest. Departure is at 6 o’clock in the morning from Asiago Cathedral, following the red standard with a white cross the procession walks around the confines of the town along the dirt roads and across the meadows that are still yellow with dandelions. A thousand people all happy to share the early start together, with a panorama still suspended in the grey of dawn, the songs of the districts with a strong community spirit, the stop at the Lazeret, where they have their packed breakfast and then mass is celebrated, ex vote to free the town from the plague. Families stay together, the girls give coloured eggs to the boys, especially to those boys who they received the traditional terracotta “cuckoo” from on St. Mark’s day. Religion and festivity mix, pre-Christian propitiary rituals and genuine devotion, friendship and ancient orgiastic memories, like the evening in the Gallio woods, when the youngest, like woodland creatures, place larch garlands around their heads. The “trip around the world” continues, accompanied by harmonious, powerful songs of the choirs. The procession has reached several thousand now, winding among woods and the Kaberlaba slopes, going to Canove, Camporovere, the hard climb up the Monte Katz. It stops occasionally for something to eat and a chat, to meet old friends who had been lost. The return to the town at 7 o’clock in the evening is a triumphal march, with the powerful ringing of the bells: the community welcomes itself back, an emotion that remains inside forever.

Schella Martz
Schella Martz is a combination of folklore, history and traditions, which in the antique Cimbrian language means “sound march”, when they reawaken nature after the winter lethargy. Traditionally the ritual takes place on the last three days of February and involves the entire plateau district. Men, women and children, some dressed as ”zeleghen baiblen” (fairies and witches), ogres and elves, all flood the town streets pulling long lines of varying sized tins and metal bins, tied together with iron wire, which they hit with sticks. The aim is to make a lot of noise to wake spring up. The last evening in the Town Hall Square, the event concludes by “burning the old lady”, an enormous wood and paper machè dummy is burnt, which symbolises the season that has ended and now has to die.

St. Mathew’s Festival
The festival is held in September, and is related to an important time in the farming calendar, when the herds of cattle and sheep come down from the mountain pastures to the stables and plain meadows, marking the end of summer.
As certain historic Serenissima documents record, there was trading at St Mathew’s festival for hundreds of gold ducats: the shepherds sold their products and bought other things they needed. The festival is also a great community party, when the families all meet in the town centre, telling each other their news after the long tough summer days on the mountain pastures, getting ready now for the long winter.
This ancient tradition is revived every year in the Asiago streets and squares, with stalls displaying the best of local produce, curios and other unusual items.