The ‘Ndocciata (‘ndoccia is a torch made out of white fir and juniper, approximately 4 meters high), which belongs to the traditions of Agnone, is of strong symbolic meaning appearing as an extremely long “tongue of fire” consisting of handmade lights and torches carried on shoulders of bearers marching down the town's main streets attracting thousands of visitors each year. The magical atmosphere of the ‘Ndocciata is performed on the night of Christmas Eve (December 24th) to the sound of bells tolling from the church tower of St. Anthony Abbot. The bearers from the Agnone districts of Capammonde e Capaballe, Sente, Guasta, San Quirico, Sant’Onofrio, Montagna) carry on the ancient fire ritual which in all pagan civilizations of Indo-Europe symbolizes the victory of light over darkness.
A taste of bucolic tradition: “la Pezzata”
The past forty years have seen vast crowds, also from out of region, reaching the green fields of Prato Gentile the first week of August during the Sagra della Pezzata (Pezzata Festival), an authentic meal typical of the livestock migration tradition. This specialty was prepared by shepherds in the highlands being one of the main food staples. The recipe is of simple preparation although it requires slow cooking over a low fire in a cauldron set to boil over an outdoor fire. Chunks of lamb meat, cut moderately large, plus water and herbs are the ingredients of this dish to be savored with its cooked broth and slices of homemade bread.
A Part of the Wild West among the Molise Highlands
Corsalonga, seen today as the most important equestrian gathering in central-southern Italy, consists of a series of sports, entertainment and cultural events with horses being the center of attention of a wild setting with clear waters, green spaces, clean woods and fresh air. Staffoli, known in Molise for farm tourism and horse-riding, is flocked by thousands of tourists who come to see cross-country races, western style mounting, gymkhana and acts of dexterity, not to mention equestrian shows, folk culture and musical performances. The event which runs for a few days is usually held during the second half of the month of August.
Truffles - “a pot of gold” from the brushwood
The Molise Highlands is a territory rich of precious products from the brushwood, in particular mushrooms and truffles. Truffles, present in large quantities as the Black Truffle species (Tuber Aestivum Vitt.) or commonly known as “scorzone” and the rare White Truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico), represent one of the main economic prosperities of San Pietro Avellana, a member of the National Association of the “Truffles Cities”. San Pietro Avellana continues to organize, for over a decade, the Black Truffle Festival on the second Sunday of August of each year, attracting tourists and food lovers also from neighboring regions, as well as the White Truffle (highly prized) Market Fair at the beginning of November.