Fairs of Saint Martin and Saint Provino


Category:
Social practices
Canton:

Description

The Saint Martin’s Fair in Mendrisio is held on the lawns surrounding the late-Romanesque church of Saints Martin and Rocco, while the fair honouring Saint Provino takes place close to the Collegiate Church of Saint John the Baptist and Provino in Agno, centre of the former pieve (parish). The Saint Martin’s Fair happens on 11 November every year and includes the weekend before or after this date. The Saint Provino’s Fair stretches over the weekend and following Monday closest to 8 March. Both fairs keep the region’s ancient rural heritage alive with farming displays featuring livestock, vehicles and machinery. Until just a few decades ago, they were firm fixtures on every farmer’s calendar. The agricultural emphasis has gradually waned over the past 50 years, giving way to market stalls selling local produce (sausages, honey, cheese and wine) as well as clothing and toys. The fairs also include fairground rides such as merry-go-rounds and various educational activities organised by young people from the area in conjunction with associations from the rest of the canton. The churches throw their doors open to visitors for the whole duration of both fairs and also hold services in honour of their respective patron saints.

Image gallery

  • Market stalls with the church of Saints Martin and Rocco in the background © Mendrisiotto Turismo
  • Selling sausages © Matteo Fieni
  • Close-up of cows © Matteo Fieni
  • Cattle market © Matteo Fieni
  • Church of Saints Martin and Rocco: interior © Matteo Fieni
  • Festivities inside the marquee © Matteo Fieni
  • Tractor show © Stefano Crivelli, 2010
  • Livestock show © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Tasting of local cheese varieties © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Tasting and sale of fried fish © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Market stalls with toys © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Cowbells and other utensils © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Market stalls with the church of Saints Martin and Rocco in the background © Mendrisiotto Turismo
  • Selling sausages © Matteo Fieni
  • Close-up of cows © Matteo Fieni
  • Cattle market © Matteo Fieni
  • Church of Saints Martin and Rocco: interior © Matteo Fieni
  • Festivities inside the marquee © Matteo Fieni
  • Tractor show © Stefano Crivelli, 2010
  • Livestock show © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Tasting of local cheese varieties © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Tasting and sale of fried fish © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Market stalls with toys © Stefano Crivelli, 2011
  • Cowbells and other utensils © Stefano Crivelli, 2011

Video

Saint Martin’s Fair, Mendrisio © Saverio Bernaschina, Rodofo Bernaschoni

References and documentation

Publications
  • Centro didattico cantonale Massagno: San Provino di Agno. Fiera e sagra di primavera (Quaderni di documentazione 10). Massagno, 1993

  • Angelo Frigerio: Mendrisiotto è qui la festa. Sagre e tradizioni popolari di un anno. Pregassona-Lugano, 2004

  • Fernando Grignola: Radici di terra e di lago: il paese memorabile, racconti e… Agno, 2005

  • Alfredo Maggetti: S. Provino. Secondo vescovo di Como (391-420) venerato nellla collegiata de’ S.S. Giovanni Battista e Provino del borgo di Agno in Diocesi di Lugano. Agno, 1961 (prima pubblicazione: 1958)

  • Mario Medici: Sagre del Mendrisiotto. Mendrisio, 1967

  • Mario Medici: La fiera di S. Martino a Mendrisio. In: Almanacco Ticinese 1970

  • Mario Medici: Storia di Mendrisio vol. 2. Mendrisio, 1980

  • Interviste (a cura di Alessandra Bobbià): Fernando Grignola (23.06.2011, 05.10.2011), Silvia Scheggia (24.06.2011), Christian Camponovo (24.06.2011), Don Angelo Crivelli (24.06.2011). Centro di dialettologia e di etnografia. Bellinzona

Documentation