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Routes > Folklore e Tradizioni > Per Comune > Pescolanciano_Sfilata dei covoni
Pescolanciano_Sfilata dei covoni

In the past, at the end of the reaping time, people used to thank gods (and, subsequently, Madonnas and Saints) for the harvest.
Also in Molise these rituals were quite diffused, but during the years, while in many villages, these are extinct, they resist in the popular tradition of two villages: Jelsi and Pescolanciano.

Saint Anna feast in Pescolanciano
According to a diffused oral tradition, the Pescolanciano feast in Saint Anna honour was born, as the Jelsi one, after the earthquake of the 26th of July 1805 to thank the Madonna of protection offered during the seism.
Probably, the origin of the feast, but also the other ones’ celebrating in Molise, are much remoter as linked to the goddess Kerri (Cerere) cult, as highlighted in the Oscan Table of Agnone (at the present time kept at the British Museum of London), in which 10 out of the 14 mentioned gods are linked to the cereal function.
In fact, in Pescolanciano, the “manuocchi” (unlike Jelsi, they don’t use “stays”) – often adorned with flowers – are taken in the procession, so, the main object of the cult is the Grain not the Saint.
The sheaves parade in Pescolanciano takes place late in the afternoon on the 25th of July after that the manuocchi are collected in the farmyard. The believers wait for the Madonna statue arrival and arranged themselves in procession.
The manucchiari (bearers of the sheaves) open the procession followed by Saint Anna statue, in its turn followed by the believers cortege singing an hymn to the Saint.
In the past, the sheaves were carried out by animals, using little wagons, but above all by women taking these on their heads using the spara (ring); successively, they used some containers (tubs and baskets), also because keeping their balance with a sheave on the head is not easy. At the present time they resort also to tractors.
The procession ends taking the manuocchi to the church (passing through the main entrance) in front of the altar where the priest will do the blessing. Successively, the manucchiari go out from the side door and the Holy Mass is celebrated.

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