Local traditions: Farchie
Local traditions "Farchie" of Fara F. Petri
The legend says that in 1979 a large number of french soldiers while they were moving from Chieti to Fara F. Petri to occupy the village, were stopped during this warlike task from the sudden and miraculous presence of S. Antonio Abat, who changed all the trees of he Selva Forest into brave warriors armed with a tower of fire and a flaming sword.
That's why the victory over the enemy was easier. In memory of this historical and miraculous event "le farchie", came of origin. They are large bundle of reed (the word also derives from the Arabic language "afaca", meaning torch or bundle of reed), built with precise skill and are usually structured with a diameter longer than I m, the height sometimes over 10m and usually over 150 kilos heavy. Common custom is in the Mediterranean area to light fires for this saint, but "Le farchie of fara are distinguished by the imponence of their structure and by the quantity, 18 one for each quarter of the Village. A few days before the feast, each village starts to build their own Farchia. The reeds are previously found and, according to custom, they are usually stolen and set aside. Early in the afternoon, on the eve of the feast of S. Antonio Abate, "Le Farchie" are brought towards the church of S. Antonio by the people of each quarter of Fara where all of the 18 farchie (of each quarter of Fara) will beburnt. The burning of these farchie is a cheerful festive event and is accompanied by armonica players, regional songs and dances and obviously by the tastes of the local wines, which help to warm up the faith in the hearts of the simple country folk, who believe in cultural traditions and in the miracles of their Saints. With great fatigue, by screaning and stimulating, helped by poles and ropes shouting "Oh Sant'Antone!" la farchie are finally held up and burnt. While burning they present an unforgettable scene, beautiful but at same time infernal: they are 18 gigantic bnfires which burn while the sun sets, as the sky starts to darken. At the orizon you can see the reflection of the strong colours from the flames.
TAKE PART in BUILDING A ‘FARCHIA’ (bundle of canes)
Every year, at the ‘Antico Tratturo’, you can actually take part in building a ‘Farchia Contrada’ ready for January 16th. info