Explore the best of WhatsOnAbruzzo this week and this month with our handy calendar and list of sagre, feste and events in Chieti, Pescara, Teramo and Aquila provinces. Click on any of the map’s pins to discover each fun-filled Abruzzo event that is local to you or deserving of a road trip! Alternatively, on the desktop version, scroll through the event flyers on the right and click thru to discover the event’s full details.
To read our reviews of events and regional-wide events click here and a list of the key sagre in Abruzzo.
Ndocciata di Agnone is an event that takes place on 8 and 24 December, consisting of a parade of huge torches (handcrafted silver fir trunks filled with broom), along the course of the city that is lined with locals to create a river of fire!
The roots of the tradition date back to pre-Roman times, to the time of the Samnium, when the Samnites used ‘ndocce (torches) as a source of light during night-time manoeuvres. Locals, particularly shepherds who still used this method of illumination and as a defense against predators decided they could be utilised to illuminate the path to the 14 churches within the different quarters of the city so that townsfolk could attend mass on Christmas Eve.
In the main street, Corso di Agnone, gigantic torches descend on the shoulders of about 800 bearers and are lit with the tolling of the highest bell in the church of Sant’Antonio.
At that point silence falls on the road as the procession starts, preceded by the banners of the various groups representing the neighboring districts and by women and children representing scenes of peasant life … and then the fire. First the children parade with single and small ‘ndocce (compared to the size of the bearer). The bearers are only the men, they also wear peasant life clothes, with large dark shepherd cloaks and proceed in a pre-established order: single torches (the ‘ndocce), then double and then the number to be carried on the shoulder gradually increases up to 20 torches at the back in the shaper of a fan! All together they form the ‘Ndocciata, a river of fire that crosses the city centre, a unique event in the world. At the end of the parade, the ndocce form a single large pyre, called the “bonfire of brotherhood”.
We will do our best to keep this calendar up to date, however in the case of last-minute cancellations due to adverse weather conditions, Covid outbreaks and so forth this may not always be possible. In these cases, you should contact the event organiser for a refund as we are not responsible for the events on the calendar, only compiling them into an easy list. As soon as we have news from an organiser when any event will be rescheduled we will update the calendar accordingly.
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