China Toy Fair


300,000 Come Out to Verona’s Tocatì Festival

by Alexis Willey

The 12th edition of the Tocatì Festival, or International Festival of Street Games, featured Mexico as this year’s guest country. The festival, which was held in the historical center of Verona, Italy, took place on September 18 to 21.

The festival featured roughly 40 traditional games from both this year’s guest country, Mexico, and various Italian regions. About 300,000 people—matching the total from the previous year—took part in more than 40 traditional games, which filled the city streets and squares with life.

Among the Mexican games was Carrera de arihueta (played by Tarahumaras women); Juego de la caña de maíz (played by the ethnic group Tzotzil of Chiapas); and the pre-Columbian games from Sinaloa State, Ulama de antebrazo (a ball game in which the ball is hit with the forearm) and Ulama de cadera (in which the ball is hit only with the hips). There was also the Mexican game Pelota p’urepecha, played with a ball that is actually on fire. [Read more...]

Tocati Festival to Focus on Hungarian Traditions

Untitled1The eleventh edition of Tocatì, the International Festival of Street Games, will focus on the Hungarian traditions and on Ferenc Molnár’s novel The Paul Street Boys. The festival is organized by Associazione Giochi Antichi (AGA) in collaboration with the Municipality of Verona-Culture Department. The event is held in the streets and squares of the Historical Centre for three from September 20 to 22. There will be about 40 traditional games coming from different Italian regions and from this year’s host country, Hungary. The games will be presented by a group of players, who came to share the ancient games of their territory and to narrate their habits and history. The traditional game is part of the heritage of humanity recognized by the Charter of International Games in 2003.

The audience will see and try traditional Hungarian games such as Grundbirkózás (Hungarian fight), Gombfoci (a sort of football table that initially was played with buttons), archery, stick fighting, Hungarian whip, and Csürközés ( a challenge in which the sticks are first thrown and then used to hinder the adversary).

Among the traditional Italian games there will be, Sicilian stick (Sicily), Bardunfa, the spinning top of Sardinia, Paga l’ost, a game of bowls typical of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sburla la roda, an athletic race with hay bales (Lombardy), Palla col bracciale (Tuscan), and three types of special skittles: Bbrigghja (Sicily), Is briglias (Sardinia), and e Stacchje (Puglia). There will also be table games such as carrom, chess, and checkers, and urban games, including Parkour, bike polo, frisbee, and for the first time at Tocatì, Slackline and Kendama. During the festival, Piazza dei Signori will become Piazza Ungheria (Hungary Square), where the audience will be able to discover attractions of Hungarian territories. Artists will interpret music, songs, and Hungarian dances of tzigana’s tradition. [Read more...]