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Friday, 14 February 2014 17:48

The Feast of Saint Anthony the Abbot

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During the night of January 16th, the night sky is lighted up by the light of the bonfires in honour of Saint Anthony of Egypt.

This rite is an ancient and deeply-rooted tradition. The saint was an exponent of the Egyptian Asceticism of the third century A.D.. Among the Christian community, the saint is considered a fierce opponent of the devil and the fires of hell.

Legend relates that the saint stole a glowing spark from the underworld in order to give it to mankind, thus bestowing the fire on them. The rites of the Feast of Saint Anthony, which mingle Christian faith and ancient pagan traditions, have been recorded since the mid-19th- century, but their origins certainly date back to more archaic times.

During this magic night, the believers ask the saint favours and miracles. The scenery, dominated by a huge bonfire made of burning woodpiles, is nearly magic.

In Dorgali, people burn rosemary bushes and distribute sanctified bread and traditional dishes based on fava beans and pastries made of cooked must and honey. On the occasion of the feast, typical pastries like the “pistiddu”, a masterpiece of Dorgali’s culinary art, are prepared. It is composed of two layers of pastry laid on top of each other and filled with a delicious marmalade of cooked must. The bonfire is crowned by a cross made of oranges and the courageous village boys must bring them down. We must not forget to mention that the wine cellars of the quarter of Saint Anthony are opened in order to offer a glass of Cannonau wine to the participants. The fire burns during the whole night and people can foresee the future and make predictions interpreting the shape of its smoke.

Additional Info

  • Location: Dorgali
  • Period: 16/17 January
  • Duration: 1 Evening
Read 3482 times Last modified on Monday, 03 March 2014 11:57
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