Very important intangible heritage of the Rieti area are the celebrations that are periodically held in the different centers involving all citizens and attracting tourists: religious festivals, historical re-enactments and traditions handed down from generation to generation and still strongly felt and participated in today. The Feste experience invites visitors to witness such unique and fascinating events, rich in history and folklore.
Among the most original, and ancient, is the ritual of the Obsequious Bull that takes place during the feast of Santa Maria della Neve in Bacugno, a hamlet of Posta, on August 5 each year, which even dates back to cults of Sabine origin. This occasion witnesses the harnessing of the bull, with a red cape and ribbons on its horns, and its journey to the church of Santa Maria della Neve where once it arrives, the animal kneels three times in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary. The bull is trained from a very young age for this role and is cared for year-round by the villagers.
Then there is the Velvet Palio in Leonessa, an event held in the last week of June on the feast of St. Peter, once the town’s patron saint. A bit like what happens with the Palio di Siena, the town’s Sesti, that is, the six districts into which Leonessa was divided after its founding, compete to win the pallium, the town’s banner, made of the finest red velvet, through highly engaging games and competitions. Today on the occasion of the palio also takes place the historical re-enactment of the entry into town of Margaret of Austria, daughter of Charles V, in 1541, to whom the fief of Leonessa had been given.
Another very characteristic event is the Festa dei Foconi, held in honor of the patron saints Cosmas and Damian in Longone Sabino. The feast consists of burning, as soon as the sun goes down, hundreds of bundles of dried broom gathered and prepared by the villagers throughout the year, scattered on the mountain ridge to shed light on the procession that meanwhile departs from the center. The Foconi recall those blazing fires from which the martyrs Cosmas and Damian emerged unharmed before being beheaded. Since 1972, on the other hand, the Historical Re-enactment of the Nativity scene has been revived every Christmas in Greccio. In fact, the first nativity scene in the world was made in Greccio, in a cave similar to the one in Bethlehem where the Child Jesus was born, by St. Francis and his followers, who welcomed the townspeople in procession. The re-enactment consists of six living pictures, and is now a world-famous event. Finally, in Ascrea, on the patronal feast of the Assumption, August 15, there are concerts, plays and band performances, and the characteristic Puppet Ball takes place. Large paper puppets are made to dance to the rhythm of the tarantella and then burned in large bonfires that in ancient times peasants scrutinized trying to derive some omen about future harvests.
These are just a few suggestions of the exciting moments that can be experienced by participating in the festivals of the Rieti region. Below a calendar collects the main events; however, it is recommended to check the institutional sites for dates and times of the festivals.
|Accumoli||Festa di SS. Maria Addolorata||First Sunday in September|
|Amatrice||Festa di Santa Maria della Filetta||Ascension Sunday|
|Festa dell’Immacolata||08 December|
|Antrodoco||Palio della Madonna del Popolo||July|
|Borbona||Festa di Santa Restituta||May|
|Cittaducale||Festa di San Magno||19 August|
|Festa di San Gregorio Magno||03 September|
|Il paese di Babbo Natale||December|
|Contigliano||Assalto al Castello||First half of august|
|Frasso Sabino||Festa di San Pietro in Vincoli, con la tradizionale Sfilata del Canestro||Third Sundays in August|
|Greccio||Il presepe di Greccio||December|
|Labro||Festa di San Pancrazio||May|
|Leonessa||Palio del Velluto||June|
|Festa di San Nicola di Bari||1-3 September|
|Festa di San Giuseppe da Leonessa||8-10 september|
|Longone Sabino||Festa dei Santi Cosma e Damiano||26 September|
|Montenero Sabino||Infiorata||The Sunday of Corpus Christi|
|Orvinio||Festa di San Nicola||August|
|Paganico Sabino||Rappresentazione storica della Moresca||Carnival|
|Pescorocchiano||Festa di San Sisto||25-27 August|
|Festa di Sant’Andrea||30 November|
|Poggio San Lorenzo||Festa di San Lorenzo||10 August|
|Posta||Festa di Santa Maria della Neve||05 August|
|Pozzaglia Sabina||Festa di Sant’Ulpia Candidia Martire||Sunday after Pentecost|
|Festa di Santa Agostina Pietrantoni||Second Sunday of September|
|Scandriglia||Festa di Santa Barbara||04 December|
|Torricella in Sabina||Palio degli Orsini||July|
|Varco Sabino||San Michele||The second Sunday in May|