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typology: tradition-religion
Area: Versilia
District/Locality: Camaiore (LU) - Italy

The sawdust carpets of Camaiore are made on a Saturday night preceding the Corpus Christi Day by groups of craftsmen, for the solemn procession which takes place on Sunday at 9:00 am and are one of the main attractions of the town as well as an event of great artistic value, history and culture.

The preparation starts many months before with the choice of a subject, inspired by religious or social themes and geometric or floral decorations, the choice of the colors, that the craftsmen are able to obtain from a mixture of sawdust and aniline, and the creation of models for the patterns made with sawdust, that can reach up to 200 meters of length.

Corpus Christi was celebrated in Camaiore in the Middle Ages but the tradition of the carpets has been consolidated in the 19th century: it seems that this custom began with the servants of the Spanish Bourbon Family, who used to make flower carpets to welcome the members of the family. Gradually the use of flowers was replaced by the sawdust.
The "tappetari" (the craftsmen) of Camaiore, are proud of their work that they consider in between craft and art. During the night they work for the realization of carpets until dawn on Sunday, when the carpets are ready to be admired, but just for a few hours before the Holy Procession passes on them. 
The carpets are created between 7:00 pm on Saturday and 10:00 am on Sunday . On Sunday morning the Holy Mass is celebrated at 8.30 am, followed by the procession on the carpets.

Camaiore, old town center
2018,  June 2 / 3
from 7:00 pm of Saturday to 11:00 am of Sunday
Free admission


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