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THE ARBËRESHË OF CALABRIA AND THE MEANING THAT THEY GIVE TO THE KULAÇ

The Arbëresh are an ethno-linguistic minority of Calabria, originally from Albania and Greece, arrived in the region between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, to escape the Ottoman invasion of their lands of origin. The Calabrian arbëreshë, represent the largest population among those stationed in Italy, and in many cases, still maintain the language, customs and religion of their ancestors.

The Kulaç is typical of the traditions of arbëreshë since the sixteenth century, the preparation of this bread is related to weddings and the Easter holidays. It is prepared with simple ingredients (wheat flour, semolina, oil, lard, yeast, wild fennel), to enhance the life and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

On the occasion of weddings, the Kulaç is prepared and packaged by the groom’s relatives, on the Thursday before the wedding that in arbëreshë culture is officiated with greek-Byzantine rite. In this case has a circular dough, with a plot that forms four arms, which is meant to represent the indissolubility of marriage. Its surface is decorated with symbols: a nest, two birds and two snakes. The nest is a new family and his home, the eggs are always odd, as a sign of good luck and fertility.

According to tradition, each ceremony will have to prepare two Kulaç one decorated and the other simply because during the ceremony, the one decorated is offered to the priest, after being soaked in wine, and given prior to the bride and then the groom, in sign of belonging to each other.