The Carnival is now started and for this reason we want to tell you about some of the popular traditions that take place in Puglia in this period. The first is the tradition of the 'Quarantana ', a doll made of rags that was originally displayed on the balconies of the houses, or
hung along strings applied to the eaves of the buildings. Its appearance recalls that of a very old woman, dressed strictly in black. The choice of color serves to indicate the concept of mourning: the forty year symbolizes, in fact, the widow of the Carnival and heralds the arrival of Easter.
Usually, the doll is accompanied by a potato on which feathers are stabbed, to be precise seven. Every Sunday of Lent, one of the seven feathers is removed for symbolize the beginning of the Easter holidays. Therefore, the Quarantana represents a rite with very ancient origins, used by peasant civilizations to mark the natural cycle of the seasons. In some towns of Puglia, this rite is enriched by parades that simulate funeral processions, during which the body of the Carnival is represented by a puppet and is carried in procession.