Yes, the last Thursday of January is approaching, and the inhabitants of Busto Arsizio eagerly and enthusiastically await the celebration of Giöbia: a moment of union and tradition, shared and felt a lot in our community.
But let’s rediscover the meaning and origins of this tradition together.
The origins are very old, even pre-Christian, the name in fact seems to derive from the god Jupiter; with the spread of Christianity then the references to the Pagan gods had been set aside while the name remained unchanged.
Now we come to the meaning and the celebration: as it has always been used since ancient times in the agricultural world, the seasonal cycles of nature were revived through rites and festivities, so as to participate in the cyclical changes of the seasons and therefore of nature.
During the winter, the peasants were bored and preoccupied with anxiety, because they carried with them hunger and fear of every possible evil and disaster, a collective state of sadness and apprehension, which was chased away with the approaching summer season, the spring awakening.
Thus was born the tradition of Giobia, a figure associated with an old woman or a witch, who came and is still burned on the last Thursday of January, symbolically as a propitiatory rite to drive away the winter and with him all the ailments and anxieties, and to welcome the coming spring.
The witch alone, however, was not enough, another element characterizing is the bonfire.
La Giobia in the Busto Arsizio’s variant of yesterday.
In the preparatory days, groups of courtyard built the jokes, puppets that could have a masculine or feminine character, depending on whether they were covered with aprons, lace panties and a handkerchief on the head or shirt and trousers.
During the day the boys shouted through the streets of the city, and in the evening, the whole community united and burned the jokes.
In the Busto Arsizio’s variant, this event was also accompanied by the “di scienèn” or the occasion to dine in family or among friends with the popular “saracca” for the poorest or with the salami cooked in the grill for the more affluent; do not forget “ul pangiàldu”, the classic Lombard high bread with cornmeal and wheat.
La Giobia in the Busto Arsizio’s variant today.
Several associations, parishes and schools prepare and exhibit in the morning dozens of puppets and witches in Piazza Santa Maria, these are exposed all day in the heart of the city, and then burned in the evening.
In Piazza San Giovanni Battista, on the other hand, the “Risotu cunt’a luganiga”, or the saffron risotto with sausage, is served to the public.
I would like to remind you that the Giobie exhibitions take place not only in Piazza Santa Maria, but also in Madonna Regina, Beata Giuliana, Borsano, Sacconago and other districts, and the main bonfire is set up in the Via Einaudi car park.
All this reminds, yesterday as today, the importance of having a country, recognizing itself in dialect, in traditions, in food and in people, and feeling within itself that feeling of joy in understanding that you are never alone.
And you who read this article, what are you waiting for? Book our Taxi Busto Arsizio service of ROS Black-Taxi and let yourself be accompanied by this wonderful tradition.