Farchie Festival, Fara Filiorum Petri

On 16th January Fara Filorum Petri, in the Province of Chieti, celebrates the rite of Farchie. Farchie are huge bundles of reeds tied by red willow branches. They are about 8 metres long, with a diameter 1 m long.

The lore has it that St. Antonio appeared to the French army that wanted to invade Fara in 1799, turning the oaks that surrounded the borough in fire columns that frightened the soldiers to death and made them run away. So on the Patronal Feast Eve at nightfall, the Patronal Feast is on 17th January, the people of Fara go in procession carrying reed torches, the “farchie”, placed along the road that led to the church of Sant’Antonio, are set on fire in memory of the Saint’s miracle.

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