Perkeos Maschggra - Carnival in Salorno

An interesting carnival custom with its own history can be found in the southernmost village of South Tyrol, Salorno

The origin of the Salorno Carnival - in the local dialect the Carnival period is called "Maschggra" - goes back to the 19th century. At that time, until 1900, an Egetmann Parade was held in Salorno in the south of South Tyrol. "Perkeos Maschggra" embodies the revival of the Carnival custom in the village: It takes place in even years - numerous associations and groups of friends take part and represent a profession or a social group in the parade. It alternates with the Egetmann Parade in Termeno, a historic custom dating back to 1591, which is held in the odd years.

The central figure is the name-giving Perkeo, who rules Salorno for one week. According to legend, Perkeo is a dwarf born around 1702 in Salorno. As a court jester at Heidelberg Castle, he finally becomes the cupbearer of the Palatine Elector Karl Philipp III and guards a huge wine barrel. Every time someone offers him a glass of wine, he answers "perchè no?" (Italian for "why not?").

For this reason he is called "Perkeo". His end is also legendary: A doctor advises him to drink a glass of water for the sake of his health. No sooner said than done... and Perkeo falls dead. It is unusual that - unlike the other Carnival customs - both women and men may take part here.

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