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Chiaroscuro, or, the Spinster Festival in Italy
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Paracelsus Offline
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Chiaroscuro, or, the Spinster Festival in Italy

Perhaps this one should've gone into the Travel forum Tongue

Quote:IN Italy, ancient traditions still come to the rescue for single ladies looking for a man.

Each year a Spinster Festival takes place in two picturesque towns near Rome where “old maids” dressed in medieval clothes get to show-off in a peculiar procession, walking across a maze of ancient Etruscan tombs while they pray a saint to find a partner.

Their fate depends on fortune. The names of all single girls are cast in a spinning lottery box but only one is drawn out: Miss Spinster.

The lucky maiden gets a double treat. Together with a dowry of 800 euros, she also wins the chance of having all the village boys at her feet with various dating proposals.

Then it’s her choice. Italians have a saying: “If they’re roses they’ll bloom”. If it’s true love, it will find its way.

In Ponzano Romano this regularly happens. The men queue up to place their eyes on the cutest bachelorettes, hoping that at least one of them will turn out to be the winner.

“The boys are just as excited as the girls to see who wins, they crowd the public council room when the name is drawn and go utterly crazy. It’s great fun and such a success that disco clubs in Rome invite us over to celebrate our misses,’’ says deputy mayor Umberto Mascioli.

The outcome has so far been positive. “All our Miss Spinster winners have tied the knot. The festival is a good-luck charm and that’s our goal: showcase our ladies still looking for a husband and shake sleepy single men to step forward”

Once the miss is drawn, a religious procession unwinds through the cobbled alleys in honour of patron St. Nicholas — Santa Claus — protector of “old maids”. Legend has it that the saint once defended three sisters from the wrath of their desperate father who wanted to force them into prostitution for lack of money, and for having failed to marry. Since then, all spinsters pray to Father Christmas for a “gift-husband”.

“It was hilarious when I won the title: the entire town came to my balcony with trumpets and drums to announce that I had been selected Miss Spinster. It felt like a serenade or collective marriage proposal,’’ says Oriana Pace.

She made the best out of it: “I was in the spotlight for a whole year and, boy, I gave my best and exploited the situation. Television networks and clubs invited me to give advice to singles. I still brag about my victory, which brought me luck: now I’m happy and settled down with a nice guy”.

The Spinster Festival is an old tradition, launched by the church ages ago to reward humble and god-fearing maidens with an appealing fortune. It then fell into oblivion until the local authorities decided to bring it back to life by investing public money in the dowry.

Why did I choose the title Chiaroscuro? Because it refers to the contrast of light and darkness, and we get to that in the end of the article:

Quote:But things have changed a little. The bag of coins once granted by the clergy to a few selected unmarried women who needed it as a “magnet” to lure a husband has undergone a “makeover” though its objective remains the same. Oriana spent her prize having fun, clubbing and holidaying in Tunisia — that is, raising the odds of finding a man.

Another former winner Fabiana Grizzi used it to change her wardrobe — a valuable asset for attracting suiters. She has the Miss Spinster genes running through her family. “My grandmother won the title 70 years ago, but back then without a dowry no man would even set an eye upon you. You simply had no chance of getting married. The war had left people poor and hungry”.

Modern times have allowed women to build a future without a man, obviously, but before, a dowry was crucial. No money, no man. Now, it lends a hand in what can be almost mission impossible, money or no money.

However, there are sacred rules still today. Participating girls must be natives of the town, aged between 18 and 30, single and childless. In the past they also had to be chaste and pure: virgins. A requirement which has dropped across centuries for many obvious reasons.

Can't fight the tide of slutdom, even in rural Italy. Nor can you keep the hamster wheel from spinning:

Quote:Thanks to the festival the shame of starting-off manless has turned into pride, especially considering the outcome. “Being a spinster can be cool, we need to overcome the stereotype that it’s a loser thing for ugly, fussy and undesirable women. We’re all beautiful”, says Oriana.

Beautiful spinsters had another name back when this sort of festival first came into being: nuns. Otherwise, it would seem male desires are still much the same in Italy: don't be ugly, don't be "fussy" (i.e. turn your nose up at providers and hold out for a player), and don't be undesirable (i.e. a modern Western woman in more or less every way.)

And because this thread is worthless without pictures:

[Image: c7fe1993b08f0f2fd9b4f270bfc3c8bb]

[Image: 606818edbc454a74bfe219b8b6c4ac24]

[Image: bc6383f6f519ac532068d4455cb1f630]

[Image: 4a2a6064c33a4dbdd92492bfa0c146ba]

For your consideration, gentlemen.

Remissas, discite, vivet.
God save us from people who mean well. -storm
04-29-2016 09:37 PM
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n/a, TonySandos, Conscious Pirate, Tim in real life, The Lizard of Oz, John Michael Kane
Conscious Pirate Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Chiaroscuro, or, the Spinster Festival in Italy
Can't wait to get the skinny on this little tradition from my Italian ex. Nice find Para.
04-30-2016 01:07 AM
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John Michael Kane
Tim in real life Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Chiaroscuro, or, the Spinster Festival in Italy
Hey, Paracelsus, keep in mind this is the same Italy that contributed to the world the following:

--La Donna e Mobile

--and this old nugget by Cato the Elder

"Give the reins to their unbridled nature and this unmastered creature, and hope that they will put limits on their own freedom. They want freedom, nay license, in all things.

If they are victorious now, what will they not attempt?As soon as they begin to be your equals, they will have become your superiors... "

So much for copying Ancient Rome, England. Dodgy
04-30-2016 02:16 AM
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Foolsgo1d Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Chiaroscuro, or, the Spinster Festival in Italy
I never knew Pavarotti made songs in that vein, such an uncultured swine I am. Laugh

Did people actually understand what he was saying or only listened to how he sung the words?
04-30-2016 04:13 PM
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John Michael Kane Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Chiaroscuro, or, the Spinster Festival in Italy
Quote:Together with a dowry of 800 euros

Queue feminist whining about women being sold as cattle.


All joking aside, some of those women look quite wife material. I've found that old school Italian men are pretty red pill, and the women do respect old-school alpha males. Might be worth a gander for those interested in finding a wifey. Idea
04-30-2016 04:32 PM
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samsamsam Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Chiaroscuro, or, the Spinster Festival in Italy
That one winner used the word exploited and had a year filled with attention whoring. Says she has found a nice guy now. I am sure he lets her fuck other men.

Fate whispers to the warrior, "You cannot withstand the storm." And the warrior whispers back, "I am the storm."

Women and children can be careless, but not men - Don Corleone

Great RVF Comments | Where Evil Resides | How to upload, etc. | New Members Read This 1 | New Members Read This 2
04-30-2016 04:37 PM
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R_Niko Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Chiaroscuro, or, the Spinster Festival in Italy
I heard from a well traveled European friend that Italian girls are a waste of time. I've never been but I grew up near Toronto which has a large Italian immigrant community and I always found them a bit stuck up. They clearly overvalued themselves and expected way too much from men. I see a ton of 30+ y/o Italian princesses that are single and well past their expiration date (they seem to hit the wall earlier than most ethnicities, sometimes in their mid 20s) and yet they still seem to overvalue themselves. I can't figure it out. Historically this was seen as a chauvinistic and patriarchal society. Wtf...
04-30-2016 04:47 PM
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