It is hard to believe that about a year ago I started my blog, time certainly does fly. I pretty much began my blog with posts about our patron saint, St. Anthony. For those who missed last years post, I will try to sum up the legend behind St Antonio. It is believed that in 1799 St Anthony saved the town from the French invasion. He transformed the giant trees that surrounded the town into fire which blocked the French from invading. Therefore every year on the 16th of January, everyone pays tribute to St Anthony and celebrates this miracle.
The question now is how do they pay tribute and celebrate. Each neighborhood builds a "Farchia", which is in simple words, a bunch of bamboo sticks tied together to form a giant stick. Sixteen farchias are built and then brought to an area near the cemetery and set on fire. The preparations pretty much starts shortly after Christmas. Everyone is very dedicated to this tradition and it takes a lot of time and energy to build the "Farchia". Needless to say while they are building the farchia, there is a lot cooking, eating, drinking and dancing going on.
Today I took some pictures and filmed how they tie the knot around the bamboo sticks, hopefully you can see how big they are and how hard it is to build .
They use willow tree branches to tie the knots. Before they use them, the branches are heated with fire to make them soft and easy to bend. You can see in the photo that they are a little burnt.
Ciao for now, and to be continued.........