Like a real Calendimaggio, celebrating spring, the Feast of Saint Vitus begins in Aquilonia on 9 May, in honour of the patron saint, in the green open countryside.
A procession starts from the town towards the Abbey of San Vito, located just outside the town, around which the devoted make three complete laps. The ritual of the laps, which seems to have a pagan origin and to recall that of the shepherds, who turned their flocks anticlockwise around the church that held the statue of the martyr saint - considered by many to be the protector of animals - ends with a general blessing.
The festivities resume on 15 June, with another procession to the Abbey of San Vito. In addition to wreaths of flowers and fruit, pilgrims carry so-called "Lilies", special wooden constructions adorned with candles, coloured cloth ribbons, flowers and images of the saint, supported and carried on the shoulders of devoted women. Once again, the devoted make three laps around the religious building, ending with the blessing of animals, bread, oats and maize.
Organised by the civic-religious committee, the Feast of Saint Vitus ends on 16 June with another procession, before which a public auction is held to decide who will carry the statue of the saint through the streets of the town.
Several days of celebrations, therefore, immersing the people of Aquilonia in a unique atmosphere, involving the entire community.
Badia di San Vito
Badia di San Vito, 83041, Aquilonia AV, Italia