Legends from Calabria: “U Juornu di ciuoti” (Crazy people’s day)

By Francesca Politi

The second chapter in our series of legends from Calabria brings us to Amantea, a coastal town in the province of Cosenza considered a jewel of the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria.

Elvira De Luca, member of the Calabrian team who participated in the LTE mobility in La Coruña this summer, shared with us a fascinating tradition that takes place every 21st of July and has its roots in an old legend.

On this occasion, in the village of Amantea crazy behavior is not just tolerated, but actively encouraged. Join us as we delve into this intriguing tradition and discover what makes it so special!

Until the early 1970s, 21 July was a very important day for Amantea, a tradition only recovered in the last 10 to 15 years. 21 July is a special day: everyone in the village can do crazy things and making crazy gestures is encouraged by the rest of the community. Why is it necessary to make these crazy gestures? The tradition originated many centuries ago, in 700 B.C., when there was supposedly an earthquake that caused a tidal wave and swept Amantea away. The few survivors took refuge in the nearby mountains and legend has it that they appeared insane from the fright. To honor this tradition, unusual gestures were made every 21 July: for example planting parasols in the water instead of on the sand. Today they celebrate with a table set up in the middle of the main street and everyone is welcome both to dine together and to do something crazy.

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