March 13: “El Tredesin de Mars” – ancient traditional Milanese festival3 min read
“E quî giornad del tredesin de Marz ?
Gh’era la fera, longa longhera, giò fina al dazi, coi banchitt de vioeur,
de girani, coi primm roeus, e tra el guardà, l’usmà, el toccà,
se vegneva via col coeur come on giardin, pensand al bell faccin de
Carolina che sotta al cappellin a la Pamela e col rosin sul sen
la pareva anca lee la primavera”.
(Emilio de Marchi – Milan, 31 July 1851 – Milan, 6 February 1901)
The so-called “Tredesin” is one of the oldest Milanese festivals: it was March 13 of the year 51 (or 52, depending on which source you read), when Barnabas introduced the new religion in the city of Milan, in northern Italy, a Roman city at the time, but where the Celtic tradition was still alive and integrated.
As story goes, Barnabas broke into a clearing outside the city walls, interrupting a Celtic celebration and inflicting a cross on the center of a pierced stone engraved with 13 radial lines, which was the object of worship (currently located in the church of Santa Maria al Paradiso in Milan, in the Porta Vigentina, on the floor in the center of the main nave).
Milan was in fact founded by the Celts in the 6th century BC. from the Celtic tribe of the Insubri with the name “medio-lanum da plenun” (Mediolanum) or the “middle plain”.
Day 13, 13 rays, and not surprisingly 13 are also the stars of the constellation Virgo, visible in this period and which will remain in the sky throughout the summer, becoming the emblem of the beautiful season and more specifically of the wheat harvest, so much so that its main star, Spica, represents the ear that the female figure is holding.
What is now the constellation Virgo was in the past identified with great goddesses such as Astarte, Demeter, Minerva and especially Persephone, because her time in the sky coincides with that in which she emerged from the underworld, bringing life to the earth of the living .
Furthermore, on March 13, the first “Quarantia” of the year took place, an ancient 40-day count that began on Candlemas day, on February 2, and was considered the transition time towards spring, in a reflection of the seasonal cycles between heaven and earth.
And it is no coincidence that the pagan vision of the arrival of beautiful season still predominates in the Christian celebration today: all real Milanese, in Milan, know the great flower market that takes place in these days, while few, in reality, remember the violent irruption of Barnabas to impose his creed on those who celebrated spring in a wood, on a distant day at the end of winter…
Images from web – Google Research