In Basilicata, there is a popular tradition of cutting hair on the first Friday of March. This tradition, known as “tagliarsi i capelli” in Italian, is said to bring good luck and prosperity to those who participate.
According to the tradition, cutting hair on the first Friday of March is believed to signify the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is also said to symbolize the shedding of old habits and negative energy, making way for new beginnings and positive changes.
What is its meaning?
The ritual is believed to be very ancient, but where exactly it came from is not clear. Some scholars believe that it is a propitiatory rite to ward off evil spirits and keep them away for a whole year. Others consider it an ancient form of divination that allowed people to predict the weather or their fortune in agriculture in coming months.
Not just to people
The farmers knew that on this special Friday, as soon as they woke up, they proceeded to cut their loved ones’ hair, but not only. Some tufts of hair were also cut from animals: horses, donkeys, sheep, cows and other animals. In ancient times, for a farmer an animal was considered a real wealth, without their help it was almost impossible to do even the simplest of jobs. The animals, in addition to doing the real hard work, contributed by donating milk, eggs and of course meat.
For this reason their health was essential and it was necessary to take care of them.
Is shaving my hair required?
You don’t have to shave, but for the cut to be effective, you need to cut your hair in at least three places. Some traditions report cutting in four points forming a cross, while the older ones in only three points: On the part closest to the eyes, and the hair above each ear thus forming a kind of protective triangle.
The tradition is widely practiced throughout the region, with many hairdressers offering special promotions and discounts on this day. It is also common for families and friends to gather together to cut each other’s hair and celebrate the occasion.
While the tradition of cutting hair on the first Friday of March may seem unusual to outsiders, it is deeply rooted in the culture and history of Basilicata.
So why not join in the fun and see what kind of luck and prosperity this tradition can bring to you?