use of the so-called burro is a tradition carried out on New Year’s Eve.
A joyous and lively group of young boys bring a burro around town and with
accordions and other instruments – typically the acciarino (a little steel
instrument) – they welcome in the New Year to relatives and friends.
Called a burro, it is made out of hollowed out piece of wood on which a
tanned piece of sheep’s skin is placed to form a drum-like instrument. In
the center a green straw is fastened. Then with a swishing motion done with
a little, flowing piece of fabric, the burro produces a sound that is fairly
dull but nevertheless goes well with the dirge sung for the occasion.
On New Year’s Day many families repeat the same function and there are offerings
of gifts (for the most part food) that are eaten later in the evening among
noisily jovial company.
For several years now the tradition of the farchia has
continually lessened. In the past it had been made of a 3 ft high oak trunk,
cut crosswise. In the four cuts four wooden sticks ringed with iron circles
were inserted, little by little, until the structure grew. The amount of
wood used was around a quarter of a canna (see measures chart). The finished farchia was then decorated with branches of rosemary, laurel, and broom.
It was burned Christmas Eve in the churchyard. It is a tradition that has
died out with time. One of the last notable persons to construct one was
Pasquale Mastromonaco (Merucc). The last farchia was burned several years
ago, and as a result of a contestation between the then-mayor and Pasquale Mastromonaco, the tradition has been lost. Nevertheless, the tradition of
the fires that are lit on March 18th and 19th during the feast of San Giuseppe
continue to this day.
“BUCCELLATI”: Delicious sheets of pasta that are vigorously
kneaded and then filled
with whole wheat bread, almonds, and sapa (fermented and cooked
“BISCOTTI”: Very crumbly biscuits made with egg.
“CALCIONI”: short crust pastry pockets filled with chickpeas or
chestnuts and chocolate.
“FIADONI”: Circular egg pasta that is stuffed with fresh and dried cheeses,
sometimes with sausages, and then cooked in an oven or in the hearth.
“CICERCHIATA”: Little balls of egg pasta that are fried and joined into
“CROCCANTE”: Almond crunch.
“TORCINO”: short crust pastry pockets stuffed with tender sheep intestines
“PROSCIUTTO”: Tender young farm-raised cocks.