For many people January isn’t a very important month, considering that December is filled with holidays and traditions. Actually, this idea is not true: January is a very important month, especially in Barga. On 30 and 31 January you can attend an unusual event: the double sunset. You can see it from the terrace in front of the Cathedral. This event is unique because the sun sets behind the Monte Forato and later appears again through the natural hole that characterises this particular mountain in the Alpi Apuane range.
We should also note that the last days of January are known in Italy as “Giorni della Merla”, literally “the Blackbird Days” because they are considered the coldest of the year. An ancient legend says that once blackbirds were white: one day, to keep her and her white chicks away from the cold, a female blackbird and her family hid in a chimney stack and came out on 1 February, but the chicks had changed colour. They were black because of the soot of the chimney! That’s why, according to this legend, from that day on every blackbird is black.
Moreover, in January Befana’s house is open: it is a small house in Pegnana, a little hamlet near Barga, where everyone will be able to see Befana and taste her delicious sweets!
For more information, read the article: https://www.visitbarga.com/eventi/quando-arriva-la-befana/
Every month has its own fun facts… Stay tuned for more articles like this one!
— Written by Francesca Catoi and translated by Margherita Paolinelli
http://cuoreditalia1.blogspot.com/2018/01/proverbio-del-mese-di-gennaio-sotto-la.html (source of the photo)
https://www.giornaledibarga.it/2020/11/torna-il-doppio-tramonto-4-343741/ (source of the photo)