Feasts and traditions in Chieti
richness of the Abruzzo region, in terms of history, religion and culture, is
great and numerous are the sacred events but also folkloric-popular events that
are held every year in Chieti. An enchanting natural setting often serves
as a frame for these events. The coldest month, January, has many traditional
The first of the month there is the kiss of the Child Jesus in
Lama dei Peligni. The Holy Children are often statuettes of fine
workmanship and great historical value, especially adored in the
evening of Epiphany with the function of the Kiss. The Holy Child of
Lama dei Peligni is precious and is guarded in a silver urn, with
crystal sides that allow the view of the faithful. On the evening of
Epiphany, all the inhabitants of the village go to church to kiss
the image of this little protector, to greet him at the end of the
the evening of the 16th the "farchie" are burned in Fara
Filiorum Petri. The "farchie" are bundles of reeds tied with
branches of red willow. These are imposing beams, one metre wide,
made in the shape of a cylinder and up to 9 metres long. They are
prepared by the districts and carried in procession to the space in
front of the church of Sant' Antonio Abate; here they are hoisted
and burned at dusk. The next day, one participates in the mass and
witness the blessing of the fire and bread of Saint Anthony. The
bread is prepared and distributed to the families for blessing and
they eat it in part, in part, they give it to the animals that are
dear to them to protect them from disease.
The celebration of Ortona on 20 January is dedicated to
Saint Sebastian. In front of Ortona Cathedral, in Piazza San
Tommaso, the traditional vaporetto is lit, a metal structure
decorated with fireworks that moves thanks to pyrotechnic games. The
vaporetto must make a certain journey, as a sign of good omen, luck
above all for fishing and harvesting. At the end of the festival, a
local dish is eaten in the houses, the puzzenette, a dish made of
broccoli, peppers and stockfish. You can also find it in restaurants
for the occasion.
The 23rd is completed, in San Martino sulla Marrucina, the
Matrimony of San Giuseppe.
In February in Taranta Peligna on the third of the month, there
is a festival of "Panicelle" of San Biagio.
Francavilla a Mare celebrates the Carnival, from 22 to 24,
with colourful floats and an average of twenty thousand spectators. The
history of the Carnival of Francavilla a Mare dates back to the post-war
period and to the shows of a complex: "Zazzà in search of Zuzzù". Over
time, the craftsmanship of papier-mâché and wagons with caricatures of
people known at that time were added. The wagons parade along the main
street of the city, then the route starts from Viale Nettuno and arrives
at Piazza Serena. At Palazzo Sirena there is an exhibition of carnival
masks. The parade is accompanied by various folklore shows and cooking
On March 18 and 19 in Monteferrante, the Tavole di San Giuseppe
are celebrated. This rite is also common in nearby Molise.
Numerous events and shows are celebrated throughout Abruzzo, on
Good Friday: the representations of the suffering of Christ in
Gessopalena and the Procession of Christ in Chieti. In
Vasto, on Friday before Good Friday, the procession of the Holy
Spine takes place. The Sacred Spine is a relic preserved in the
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. It is a thorn of the crown of Jesus. The
celebration takes place with a procession of the faithful in the streets
of the city. On Easter morning, there are the Good Day celebrations
in Pianella, the Light was born in the East at Villa Badessa and
Maria escapes to Sulmona. At Easter, a procession between the camps
takes place near San Tommaso. The next day Orsogna hosts the
scenes of "Talami". At Lanciano, at midday, at Easter in Piazza
Plebiscito, the meeting of Mary, Saint John and Christ is represented.
The statues that represent them are transported to the square and during
the procession of Mary comes to know about the resurrection of her Son.
After the conclusion of the festivities, the statues are collected and
placed in the cathedral where they will remain until the following
Tuesday. On Tuesday after Easter, the members of the Brotherhoods take
them back to the churches where they were originally housed.
The Procession of Good Friday in Chieti is the oldest in Italy.
It is organized by the Archconfraternity of the Sacred Mount of the
Dead. The procession opens through the beautiful parts of the old town
centre. It is accompanied by an orchestra of more than 150 stringed
instruments playing the funeral march of San Selecchy, a famous local
In May, springtime, some of Abruzzo's most interesting festivals are
hosted. In Pretoro on the first Sunday of May, another
gathering of hunters is held just before the sacred game," Lu Lope"
(wolf). On the same day, there are the feasts of Mary of the Cross
in Pietranico. On the first Sunday, third and fourth of the
month, Atessa is the " Ndorce"procession. On the second
Sunday of May there is a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Graces at
Vacri. On the 8th there is the pilgrimage to the cave of St.
Michael in Balsorano and Liscia, and the procession of
young virgins in Rapino.
The Miracle of San Domenico is commemorated on the first
Sunday of the month in Palombaro. On the 10th and 11th day in
Casalbordino, the Madonna dei Miracoli is celebrated.
Then, there is the pilgrimage to the hermitage of St. Onofrio
(12) which departs from Serromonasca. Another important
festival is Lu Cencialone" in Silvi (28).
The celebration calendar also includes the celebrations for the
Miracle of Santa Margherita in Villamagna (12) and San Pantaleone a
Mozart's Mozart Week from 2nd to 9th July in Chieti recalls
Mozart. In some squares and streets of the old town centre there are
concerts of choirs, soloists and orchestras and the Orchestra del
Teatro Marrucino performs. In addition to music, there are
puppet shows, people dressed in historical clothes and fireworks.
La festa dei doni a Serramonacesca si
svolge la prima domenica del mese. Il 26 e il 27 ad Altino, Lentella e
Roccascalegna, ci sono le feste di Santa Cosima e San Damiano.
The first Sunday of the month, in Tollo, there is the
representation of Mary of the Turks. The 15th is a full day of
celebrations: the Assumption Fair in Castel Castagna and
the Palio delle Bambole (Dolls Palio) a Cappelle sul Tavo.
During the month, there are other festivals: the feast of the lily of
St. Anthony in Giuliano Teatino (19); the 25th in Roccamorice
hosts the procession of St. Bartholomew; the last Sunday of
August the feast of "Mastrogiurato" of Lanciano. The
celebration is composed of several events including medieval dinners,
markets, street theatre, dances, flag-wavers and the most important
event is the investiture of the Mastrogiurato. It is a position that
belongs to the past, exactly to 1304 and to the Angevins. The
Mastrogiurato has full powers during the festive period. The parade is
made up of 600 people in period costume and moves in the districts of
the historic center. A flourishing period of economic and cultural
wealth is commemorated.
The Gift Festival in Serramonacesca takes place on the first
Sunday of the month. On the 26th and 27th in Altino, Lentella and
Roccascalegna, there are the feasts of Santa Cosima and San Damiano.
Chocofestival in the historic center of Chieti. Exhibitions, sale
and tastings of delicious chocolate in all imaginable forms. On the eve
of St Martin's Day 10 in Scanno, the celebration of Glory
In Pollutri, the San Nicola Beans Festival (6) takes
place. On the 8th in
the so-called "Faugni" bonfires are lit. The tradition of
the "Squilla" is held in Lanciano (23) and dates back to
the sixteenth century; the procession departed from the Basilica of
the Madonna del Ponte and arrived at the church of Iconicella. The
meaning of this procession is linked to Joseph and Mary's journey to
Bethlehem. Every year this celebration is repeated and the faithful
walk along the route and return to the starting point for the 18th.
Between 6 p. m. and 7 p. m., in silence, you can hear the ringing of
the Squilla, the bell of the Cathedral. This is the moment for the
inhabitants of the town to wish wishes and gifts. Starting from the
19th, the sound of the Squilla is accompanied by the sound of bells
from all over the city.
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