Il giro del mondo, sognato dall’emigrante, che non può tornare al suo paese
o ricordato dal vecchio che non ha più la forza di affrontare il cammino,
può diventare un abbraccio di amore e di nostalgia,
un abbraccio d’amore con quanti capiscono che la vita è anche un camminare assieme,
un abbraccio di nostalgia con quanti sanno trovare nel rimpianto una nuova felicità.
A tradition handed down for centuries... for over four hundred years
For centuries, in our beloved Asiago plateau, an ancient rite has been handed down, taken with pride by young and old, by women and men: The Grande Rogation. For over four hundred years, this ritual is celebrated precisely forty days after Easter, the Saturday before the feast of the Ascension. For the city of Asiago (Sleghe in cimbro), it is a Catholic penitential rite, which consists of a procession that lasts a whole day, in which prayers and songs of thanksgiving are made in Cimbrian, the original language of the Asiago Plateau .
Every year it attracts millions of tourists from all over the world, even from Australia. This ritual has the objective of obtaining from God the blessings for the fruitfulness of the fields and the good health of the people. Originally the Rogation had a propitiatory function, it was carried out, that is to say by auspiciousness of a good harvest. In the 17th century, following a plague epidemic, this procession was transformed into a thanksgiving rite by the population that survived the plague. The Grande Rogation is a festival that every year leads to the exchange of colored eggs among the lovers: the girls and women, the days preceding the Saturday of the Rogation, try to gather herbs and colored flowers in the meadows, pastures and woods and fragrant, which are then used to color the eggs they will give to their men.
The entire route of the Rogation has thirty kilometers, all in the Asiago Plateau:
beginning at 6 am, in front of the Cathedral of Asiago, we proceed in the direction of Lazzaretto, where we make the first stop for the celebration of the holy mass, in the little church dedicated to San Sisto. From the Lazzaretto we start more and more numerous towards Kaberlaba, Canove, up to Camporovere, where we arrive at about 13 and stop again to rest and have lunch; around 2.30 pm the journey is even more numerous.
After a few kilometers the most demanding climb is tackled, that of Mount Katz, also known as "Bi" due to the particular shape of the path that runs through it, which recalls this letter of the alphabet.
Descending from Monte "Bi", continue along the Contrada Rigoni di Sotto and from here towards the Gallio forest, where a final stop is made. Here the boys reciprocate the gift of colored eggs received by the girls with crowns of fresh and green pine twigs, intertwined with flowers gathered in the last stretch of the path.
Return to the village at sunset. The bells greet the return of the Grande Rogation and the women left in the village offer bread, as a sign of donation to the poor so that they too participate in the common joy. The solemn Mass in the Cathedral of Asiago closes the Grande Rogation.