Folk traditions are not always linked with old legends and the uncontrolled beliefs of the people, but always with religious and even pagan rituals. Many of these have an unmistakable base in history, but still remain popular traditions on account of their character and importance. Such is the case of the traditional "festa delle farchie", celebrated every year at Fara Filiorum Petri on the vigil of the feast of St. Anthony Abbot to commemorate a legendary and miraculous occurrence in 1779. At the beginning of every year comes the feast of St. Anthony Abbot, the saint most venerated in Abruzzo, which marks the period for slaughtering pigs; this explains the custom of accepting payment in sweets known as "li cilli di Sant'Antonio", sausages and eggs. In February comes "la biasciola", the feast of St.Blaise, who according to Abruzzo legend is the protector against sore throats. Although there is no characteristic mask-figure in Abruzzo, there are still various ritual and propitiatory customs connected with the Carnival period: to favour a good harvest, while respecting religious beliefs, there is no lack of carnival licence. Among these customs we must mention the dances known as "lu saltarello" and the "lacci d'amore", a famous tradition at Sant'Andrea, the smashing of cooking pots and the greasy pole. In May in Abruzzo there are celebrations in honour of patron saints and traditional festivities, just as used to happen in the old days of naturalistic pagan ritual when the offering made in thanks-giving to the gods who protected the fields and the crops became symbol of abundance, richness and good omen. The most interesting events are the following; the "Processione dei Serpari" at Cocullo in honour of St. Dominic (this revives the ancient worship of reptiles, in a ritual of pagan origin), held on the first Thursday in May. The "Sagra dei Talami" (a representation of biblical scenes) is held at Orsogna on the first of April. The celebration of the "Bue di San Zopito" (a solemn, old festivity of clearly pagan origin) is a procession led by an ox with coloured decorations, ridden by a boy dressed in white; the ox is taken into the church and make to kneel down before the altar of San Zopito, the patron saint of Loreto Aprutino. The event is held on 18th - 19th May.

Edizioni ITALIA TURISTICA s.a.s.
35124 Padova - Via C. Anti, 9
Tel.(049) 80.111.80 r.a.
Fax.(049) 80.111.82