Every year, in Maremma, on the night between the 30th of April and the 1st of May a very special tradition is celebrated, called Canti del Maggio [Songs of May]. On this occasion, in the countryside, following the tradition of Maremma, groups of people move from one estate to the other, wearing hats made of hay and decorated with flowers, and singing. In each estate they bring songs to wish good luck in the fields and in exchange for that they receive food: meat, sausages, salami, eggs and, of course, wine. These singers are called maggerini. This tradition is linked to the cult of trees, to agricultural rituals, celebrating abundance and while nature returns to its splendour, it is meant to wish good luck for the harvest to come.
In the past it was particularly important even because of its social value. As estates in Maremma were very distant from each other, Canti del Maggio served also to reinforce the connection between families, both for work reasons and for family allegiances (and marriages too!). As with many other traditions, in the past decades even Canti del Maggio went through a period of crisis but today they still exist, thanks, most of all, to special events involving local associations that have the valorisation of popular songs. In particular, in Braccagni, this festival is a point of reference and groups perform in turn on the stage, together with poets and storytellers, even on the afternoon of the 1st of May.
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