festa delle farchie

“Festa delle Farchie” takes place every year on January 16, to celebrate St. Antonio Abate, and involves all the inhabitants of Fara Filiorum Petri town.

“Farchie” are huge bundles of reeds, with a diameter of about one meter and high about 10 meters. Each of the sixteen districts of the town realizes one of them and, early in the afternoon of 16 January, carries it in the square opposite St. Antonio Abate church, where they are raised and, at dusk, burnt.

While bonfires illuminate the night, offering an unforgettable sight, citizens and visitors celebrate with songs, folk music, tasteful wines and typical dishes.

“Farchie”, from Fara Filiolom Petri, have spread to neighboring countries: all to honor the Egyptian saint, whose legend wants him protector of animals and guardian of fire. Legend tells that St. Antonio Abate, right in Fara Filiolum Petri, stopped the French advance in 1799 torching large oaks in “La Selva” area.

In Roccamontepiano there is the “Sant’Antonie” tradition, a series of theatrical representations of the saint’s life, built around sacred fires burning in home fireplaces and among the districts’ farmyards.