Epifania del Tallero: a new form for an old ritual in Gemona del Friuli
On January 6 of each year, Gemona del Friuli marks the Epiphany by celebrating the “Messa del Tallero”, the highlight of the town’s historical pageant. The tradition has strong roots in the community of Gemona, inviting citizens to look beyond the merely material aspects of life and underlining the importance of spirituality. The event is organised by the Municipality of Gemona, with Pro Loco Pro Glemona and the Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta.
But what is a “Tallero”? It’s a silver coin which was given to the church by the Mayor of Gemona during the religious ceremony, as a symbol of harmony and collaboration between temporal and spiritual power. And so the “Messa del Tallero” or “Mass of the Silver Coin” is traditionally held in Friuli Venezia Giulia at Epiphany, underlining the history of the town of Gemona and the inhabitants’ sense of community.
During the traditional costume pageant, ladies and knights, nobles and the populace parade with the Mayor to the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, a jewel of Romanesque/Gothic architecture that is one of the region’s most prominent medieval monuments. The Messa del Tallero is a symbolic act, a sign of thanks, abounding in ritual gestures that have been handed down unchanged, performed by the citizenry of Gemona over the centuries.