Festivals & Pageants in Abruzzo, Italy | Historical Parades, Food Festivals, Costumed Processions, Ceremonies, Folklore Events
Festivals & Pageants in Abruzzo
Historical Parades, Food Festivals, Costumed Processions, Folk Ceremonies
This is a partial list of local festivals, fairs and costumed events. To verify the exact dates, please contact the local tourist board.
Snake Handlers' Procession: a statue
of the town's patron, St. Dominic, is carried through the town covered with live serpents (first Thursday
in May). Every year on the first Thursday in May, thousands of pilgrims, emigrants, photographers and thrill-seekers
throng to this little town to see the faithful bring offerings of snakes to their patron saint, Dominic. The
slithering treasures are all very carefully entwined upon the statue before it is taken in solemn procession
through the village, accompanied by the band. When they have finished wending their way up the hillside, they
and all who follow them are rewarded by fireworks, followed by a banquet in the streets. The festivities are
not over until all present have finished a collective breakfast picnic on the green at the foot of the hill.
Supposedly, the origins of this festival go back to pre-Roman times.
|Courtesy of Rochelle De Baun
- Francavilla a Mare:Carnival Festivities (February).
- Città Sant'Angelo: Carnival Parade of Floats (February).
- San Valentino: Frittata Festival (Good Friday).
- Picciano: Traditional Befana Festival (January).
- Lanciano: Medieval Pageant and Horse Race (September).
- Cappelli Sul Tavo: Palio del Pupo Costumed Races (August).
- Villamagna: The Turks and St. Margerite Historical Re-enactment (July).
- Cepagatti: Historical Parade with Floats, Fireworks and Celebrations (August).
- Rivisondoli: Living Nativity Scene: hundreds of costumed figures re-enact the arrival of the Three Kings at the manger (January).
- Loreto Aprutino: Procession of the Ox: this beautifully costumed procession culminates when a sumptuously outfitted ox kneels before the statue of St. Zopito (Monday after Pentecost).
- Scanno: Bonfire Festival: enormous bonfires are lit on the surrounding hillsides to commemorate St. Martin (November).
Traditional Wedding Ceremony: re-enactment of the unique local wedding customs (August).
- Popoli: Trout and Shrimp Festival (August).
- L'Aquila: Pope Celestino's Pardon Ceremonies (August).
Good Friday Procession (sunset, Good Friday).
- Sulmona: La Madonna in Piazza: medieval folklore event culminating in a staged pageant (Easter Sunday).
- Fara Filiorum Petri: Farchie Festival: giant torches illuminate this festival for St. Anthony (January) (right).
- Celano: Costumed Procession and Fireworks (late August).
- Cappelle Sultano: Palio of the Puppets: giant puppets form a procession through the town, then explode in a shower of fireworks (August).
- Rocca di Mezzo: Daffodil Festival: folklore dances, presentations and a parade of flowery floats to celebrate the arrival of spring (last Sunday in May).
Plowing Festival: re-enactment of a 17th-century custom, culminating with a race to plow the most perfect furrow (last Saturday in August).
- Pacentro: Festival of the Madonna of Loreto, with a traditional bare-foot "gypsy race" (first Sunday of September).
- Bucchianico: Flower Festival: re-enactment of a 13th-century military stratagem that saved the town from destruction, with costumed parades, flower-bedecked carts and exquisite miniature flower floats worn on the local ladies' heads (third Sunday of May).
- Villa Santa Maria: Culinary Festival: world-famous chefs who hail from the region gather for a three-day demonstration of their skills, based on techniques and recipes that date back over centuries (October).