In my childhood memories September in Lanciano meant FUN!! No homework for the holidays to finish, or school that is about to start, just parties, carousels, dinners, fireworks, nights out and happiness. You will think I am exaggerating, but September festivals in Lanciano are really unique.
Sant’Egidio – 31st August
It all begins with Sant Egidio, the fair of toys, bells and lovers. On the evening of August 31st, Corso Trento e Trieste and Piazza Plebiscito are filled with stalls full of toys and bells.
Why this combination?
Because it is the day when children can ask for an extra toy, but it is also the occasion in which, according to tradition, the boyfriend gives his girlfriend a little ceramic bell, that she reciprocates with a basket of fresh fruits (grapes, figs, etc.)..
Sant Egidio’s bells are present in every home, and even we of Abruzzo.no do not exempt ourselves from the arduous task of finding the nicest one. After a long search and at least a look at all the possible offers and new creations of the year, we chose the right bell for our collections. We are biased, but we always recommend take a look at Aruru’s creations.
Mastrogiurato – first Sunday of September
Another festive occasion is the Mastrogiurato and the Medieval Week. It is a historical re-enactment of the investiture of the Mastrogiurato, a magistrate who assisted the mayor in the administration of the cities in the Angevin period during the Kingdom of Naples. The aim was to ensure the correct and peaceful progress of the famous Lancianos’s Fairs.
This ceremony is staged every year on the first Sunday of September.
A Mastrogiurato of modern times is nominated, a person who has distinguished himself by merit towards citizenship and has worthily represented the local community.
The historical re-enactment shows people with beautiful clothes from the historical period, representing the four historical neighborhoods of the city. This is the closing event of the Medieval Week which opens on the last Sunday of August with the Tenzone dei Quartieri (historical team games), and sees nombreuse medieval dinners, ancient music concerts, street theater, and culminates with the Mastrogiurato parade.
Il Dono – 8th September
September 8 is the day of “Lu Done”, when the hamlets of Lanciano and some neighboring towns homage to the Madonna del Ponte.
At 9.30 in the morning the parade of tractors and wagons runs along Corso Trento e Trieste and arrives in Piazza Plebiscito and deliver the gifts to the protector of the city. I could say that it is one of my favorite moments of these days of celebration, as we can truly feel an atmosphere of joy, and see a real celebration of peasant’s culture.
On the wagon we can see scenes from the traditional peasants’ activities, such as the harvest, threshing, bread and pizzelle making, etc. The children who crowd the streets during the parade, look forward to recieve something from the tractors: sweets, bread and oil, pizzelle and other delicacies.
It is a real popular festival, with an exchange between generations, where the elderly have the opportunity to pass on the traditions and folklore to the youngest.
The day ends with the auction, in Piazza Plebiscito, of products donated. The lucky ones who will win the auctions, can also eat with their friends what they got on tables installed in the main square for the occasions. People can enjoy some of the best regional delicacies.
La Nottata, or l’Apertura – 13th September
Here we are at the very famous Nottata, the night of September 13th that opens the three days of September Festivities (Feste di Settembre). As usual, we start with a nice dinner and then continue with rides on the numerous carousels, dances, toasts, treasure hunts, until we arrive at 4 am when the magnificent fireworks at the Villa delle Rose will officially open the festivities.
At 4.30 am the beautiful illumination are turned on, creating a colourful passage for Lanciano City Band that performs on Corso Trento e Trieste.
It is not a Nottata worthy of its name if after the fireworks you don’t eat the traditional white pizza with roasted peppers and anchovies, and you don’t buy celery in the open market square.
Therefore, in Lanciano everyone knows that the true white night was born in 1883 in the city. No kidding.
The Feste di Settembre – 14-16 September
September 14th to 16th noone misses the main days of the festivities.
Every night at midnight there will be fireworks that will compete for the title of the best fireworks show.
But first you celebrate by eating porchetta and celery in the city center, attend concerts in the main square, enjoy the carousels rides, meet with friends, and experience days of full fun and conviviality.