The Xauxa giants triumph in Locarno in a huge display

The Xauxa giants triumph in Locarno in a huge display

On Sunday, May 18, the giant gang from the Xauxa d’Igualada neighborhood was the main protagonist of a cultural event in Locarno: “la Sfilata dei Giganti”. Their presence was the main attraction of this celebration organized by the city of Locarno and the delegation of the Catalan government in Switzerland, where the perennial giants captivated the Swiss audience.

The Igualadin giants paraded through downtown Locarno, starting their parade at Lake Maggiore, from the Largo Zorzi promenade and through the main streets to the picturesque Piazza Grande, finally arriving at the famous Viscontio Castle, designed by Leonardo da Vinci. This symbolic castle hosted an unprecedented giant day. Giants Ignasi and Rosita, accompanied at all times by Giants musicians Vilassar de Dalt, captivated the hundreds of people in attendance, providing a lively representation of the Giants tradition in Catalonia.

The Swiss were fascinated by the history of the Xauxa giants and by the devotion and enthusiasm of its wearers, who caught the attention of a curious public for their shoes: the famous Catalan espadrilles made from seven feet high. In the afternoon, many complementary activities were carried out that enriched the day. The creative workshop for families “Anche io sono un gigante” (I am also a giant) allowed about thirty boys and girls to make their own giant Xauxa hat. Later, the conference “Il gigante nell’imaginario Medievale” (The Giant in the Medieval Imagination), organized by Dr. Roberto Piolzi of the University of Lausanne, provided a fascinating historical perspective on the character of the giants who were prevented by afternoon rain. The return procession of the giants from the castle to Largo Zorzi.

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During the institutional reception, the Advisor for Social Affairs, Youth and Culture at the Locarno City Council met Mrs. Nancy Longhi stressed the importance of these cultural exchanges: “The Sfilata dei Giganti has served as a bridge between our communities. We have been able to enjoy a rich and exciting tradition that strengthens the ties between Locarno and Igualada.” Longhi presented the group with gastronomic products from the Ticino region and a book on the prestigious works of contemporary art preserved in the castle.

For his part, Tony Canals, representative of the Xauxa d’Igualada Neighborhood Residents’ Association, said a few words and expressed his satisfaction at having participated in this event: “It is a great honor for us to bring this tradition to this place. We have felt the affection and warmth of the people of our city of Locarno at every step.” Our steps, accompanied by gang leader Agusti Belfort, presented the city with a miniature representation of the Catalan giants.

Representative of the General Government in Switzerland, Mr. Gabriel Buchat was also present at the event and confirmed the success of the initiative: “This type of event is essential to promote our culture and traditions abroad. We are very proud of the role played by the Xauxa giants in Locarno.” Thanks to the City Council of Igualada, La Colla sent the Director of Cultural Services of the City of Locarno, Sebastian Peter, various books explaining the culture and traditions of Igualada. The Catalan government delegation was also presented with a wonderful book about the Igualada Theater exhibition.

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The Sfilata dei Giganti in Castello Visconteo has been covered extensively by the Swiss press. Newspapers such as La Regione, Le Matin and 24 Heures devoted articles to the event, highlighting the success and great turnout. Canton Ticino’s local newspapers, Il Corriere del Ticino and Il Grigioni Italiano, also highlighted the Catalan giants’ participation, underscoring the enthusiasm they have aroused among Locarno residents.

This cultural exchange highlighted the richness of Igualadin’s traditions and set a precedent for future cooperation between the two cities, promoting friendship and mutual understanding through popular culture.

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