Feast of duck
in September in Desenzano del Garda
In late summer are slaughtered ducks and celebrates the patron. The feast of the duck, which reaches its climax on the first Sunday of September, takes place in the upper part of the city, the district called “Capolaterra”, which looks on the current Via Garibaldi to the junction with via Gherla, with crosses of St. John the alley, away dishes and Vittorio Veneto. Here is located the church dedicated to St. John (late sixteenth century.), Which formerly gave its name to the district. Considering that in these parts the ducks were killed by cutting their heads, a kind of strange analogy, perhaps the ducks ended up representing the collective imagination the figure of St. John the Baptist, who had also suffered decapitation.
Until a few decades ago it was common for families to expose Capolaterra in the days of the festival outside the doors of the gate of the house legs and beak of a duck tied with a red ribbon. A legend explains the reason for this custom. For the feast of the patron farmers had to bear as a gift to master the best duck, but one day one of Vaccarolo (fraction of Desenzano) decided to break off this custom, and came with his duck near the castle he cut the legs that hung on the door leaf returning home the body of the animal. That “joke” Forever broke the tradition.
And that’s why since then, for the feast of St. John, on the doors of houses Capolaterra
appeared duck legs.
During the festival, which begins two days before the Sunday, the district’s main street (Via Garibaldi), which leads to the church is decorated with flags and will make their appearance stalls of sweets, toys and balloons.
In the square I ° Maggio (Garibaldi), created in 1893, in front of the oratory are organized for the occasion a number of popular games: Wheel of Fortune, shooting darts and “shoot to ‘duck’. Once this last race was held with live ducks put in a pool, to win you had to stick their necks at least one ring launched from a distance. The prize was the same in the animal that was put into a black plastic bag and handed over immediately to the winner. few years, however, following the intervention of animal section of Desenzano, the use of live animals for the game was suspended and in their place in the pool just floating ducks eyelashes. Winners will still be given a voucher that allows them to withdraw the following day the prize in kind at a farm in the area who raises ducks. According to what is said, it is tradition that every year during the festival rain at least for a few minutes. On this occasion the presence of water is particularly relief on Sunday afternoon and evening, when groups of children, by custom, engage in a real “war” fought with balloons, pistols and machine guns loaded with water. In addition to bathing and splashing each other, the contenders have fun also to lay some girl dressed in the fountain that is at the center of the square. There are those who, in order to explain this behavior, suggests that it has a bearing on the habits of the ducks, which are aquatic animals, but it is just an opinion, not an absolute certainty.