The traditional lighting of the bonfire, accompanied by music and dancing, takes place on 17 January, in the Church of the Ascension in the Balsami district after the celebration of Holy Mass in honour of Saint Anthony, which is followed by the blessing of animals and bonfires.
There, you can taste typical local food made according to ancient recipes handed down from generation to generation, accompanied by an excellent Irpinian wine.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Some testimonies tell that since ancient times, on the night of 17 January, the day when Saint Anthony is celebrated, the rural folk have lit up the region with thousands of small bonfires, which had a different meaning depending on the area. In the Irpinia region, this tradition is deeply rooted and in particular in Solofra the tradition has been handed down for centuries.
If we go further back in time, beyond the reaches of memory, we see singing and dancing around the Carcare area - the first fun, frolics, and tomfoolery of Carnival.
A local proverb even refers to the masks and sounds of Saint Anthony and it was, in fact, at this time of the year that Carnival parades began, continuing Sunday after Sunday until the final paroxysm of Shrove Tuesday.
Saint Anthony and Carnival were closely united in a single desire to enliven the dullness of everyday life at a time when entertainment was scarce.
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the event takes place on the single date of January 17th, except for impediments due to external causes, on an annual basis. However, the 2021 edition has been suspended due to Covid-19
Piazza San Michele, 5, 83029 Solofra AV, Italia