febbraio

Febbraio, un mese a metà tra sacro e profano

Da ormai una decina di giorni siamo entrati nel secondo mese dell’anno, Febbraio, dal latino febrùus (purificazione). Anche nell’antichità in questo mese ricorreva una festa con la quale gli antichi Romani celebravano riti in onore della dea Febris. Successivamente, gli antichi riti di purificazione furono traslati nella festa di Santa Febronia ( vedi sotto).
Per noi oggi, con il mercoledì delle Ceneri, inizia la Quaresima, periodo liturgico nel quale si è invitati alla penitenza.
Ma procediamo con ordine, con il calendario 2016 a fianco.

Il 2 Febbraio di ogni anno si ricorda la Presentazione di Gesù al Tempio. È il giorno in cui nelle Chiese si procede alla benedizione delle candele ( festa della candelora), a ricordo della parole del vecchio Simeone che, in occasione appunto della presentazione di Gesù, lo definì “luce per illuminare le genti”. Nelle chiese le candeline benedette vengono lasciate a disposizione dei fedeli che le portano nelle loro case. Nel passato, venivano accese quando veniva a mancare la luce per un forte temporale, non solo per illuminare, ma anche per riceverne protezione e scongiurare pericoli.

candles

Vi ricordo un antico proverbio che nella mia provincia recita più o meno così: “Per la candelora, de l’inverno sum fora; fora sì, fora no, quaranta dì i ghè amò”. (Per la Candelora, dall’inverno siamo fuori, fuori sì, fuori no, quaranta giorni ci sono ancora). Varrà anche quest’anno? E da quale inverno?
C’è un altro proverbio più diffuso “Per la Candelora dall’inverno semo fora, ma se piove e tira vento, all’inverno siamo dentro.

Il 3 Febbraio è la festa di San Biagio, protettore della gola. Nelle chiese, il sacerdote procede alla benedizione delle gole incrociando due candele, benedette il giorno prima, sulla gola dei fedeli, pronunciando la formula “Per le preghiere e i meriti di San Biagio, Dio ti liberi dai mali della gola e da ogni altro male”. Secondo la leggenda, infatti, mentre andava incontro al martirio, il Santo, dietro le suppliche di una madre, liberò il figlio, che stava soffocando, da un osso rimastogli in gola.

san-biagio

Il giorno di San Biagio, poi, c’è l’usanza milanese di dividere in famiglia una fetta del panettone tagliato a Natale e conservata allo scopo, per allontanare le malattie di stagione. La fetta di panettone viene divisa in tanti pezzetti quanti sono i membri della famiglia e mangiata a colazione, prima di ogni altro cibo, la mattina del 3 Febbraio.

panettone-s.biagio1

Il 9 Febbraio cade quest’anno l’ultimo giorno di Carnevale, ma sarà il 13 a Milano, dove vige il Carnevale di rito Ambrosiano. La tradizione popolare dice che l’origine di questa usanza risalga a Sant’Ambrogio che, essendo in pellegrinaggio lontano da Milano, avesse chiesto alla sua città di aspettare il suo ritorno per iniziare la Quaresima. O anche, in una versione leggermente differente, che il popolo di Milano, avendo ancora molto cibo da smaltire, avesse chiesto, sempre a Sant’Ambrogio, di posticipare il periodo penitenziale della Quaresima, con il digiuno e l’astinenza. Secondo un’altra versione, a seguito di una pestilenza.

milano

La verità è, invece, che la Chiesa meneghina segue il rito ambrosiano che, nel conteggio dei giorni di Quaresima, quindi di penitenza, include le domeniche, a differenza del rito romano seguito nel resto d’Italia, che le esclude.

Il 10 Febbraio inizia, come già detto, la Quaresima ed è il giorno delle Ceneri. Durante la Santa Messa i partecipanti ricevono sul capo un pizzico di cenere, mentre il sacerdote pronuncia queste parole “Ricorda, tu persona umana, che sei polvere e tornerai ad essere polvere”.

mercoledi-delle-ceneri-comincia-oggi-la-quaresima-13366

Oggi, 10 Febbraio, è anche il Giorno del Ricordo in cui si vuole onorare «la memoria della tragedia degli italiani e di tutte le vittime delle foibe, dell’esodo dalle loro terre degli istriani, fiumani e dalmati nel secondo dopoguerra e della più complessa vicenda del confine orientale», per usare le parole della legge del 2004 che l’ha istituito. Ritengo sia grave che per tanto (troppo!) tempo non si sia parlato di questo dramma dello scorso secolo.

L’11 Febbraio è dedicato alla Madonna di Lourdes ed è la “Giornata del malato”.

Il 14 Febbraio si festeggia San Valentino, vescovo di Terni, amico dei giovani e protettore degli innamorati. Ciò pare sia dovuto al miracolo compiuto nei confronti di una giovane cui ridiede la vista. Forse non tutti sanno che il Santo più famoso della pubblicità ha “spodestato” Santa Febronia, vergine martire, la cui ricorrenza, che nel passato cadeva proprio il 14 di questo mese, è stata spostata al 25 Giugno.

Non vi ho parlato dei “giorni della merla” con le varie leggende che circolano in merito. Questo perchè secondo la tradizione, corrispondono agli ultimi tre giorni di Gennaio ( quindi 29, 30, 31), o, come la pensano qui al mio paese, gli ultimi due di Gennaio e il primo di Febbraio. Questi giorni dovrebbero essere i più freddi di tutto l’inverno. Mai condizionale fu più appropriato, visto, soprattutto, come sono andati quest’anno!
Ma delle leggende legate a questi giorni, scriverò…il prossimo anno!

79 pensieri su “Febbraio, un mese a metà tra sacro e profano

  1. A Genova diciamo:
    Madonna de la Candelora, de l’invernu semmu fora, ma a ciòve (piovere) e a nevà (nevicare ) quaranta giurni han ancun (ancora) da passà!
    Buona serata!

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