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Lu Ciancialone

An ancient ritual revived every year in Silvi on the first Sunday in May.
ImageThis eventis in honour of the patron Saint Leone, and dates back to ancient times to an episode in the XIV century, when the Turks were invading the Adriatic coast. Legend holds that when the Turks disembarked in the port of Cerrano they sacked the seaside town and headed towards Silvi, which would suffer the same fate. The people were terrified and getting ready to defend their homes, when a young man called Leone came down the hill towards the sea baring a torch in his hand and headed towards the attackers.
The further he advanced the more intense the light became from his torch, and the Turks believed they were being attacked by an army and fled in fear. Silvi was safe.
Every year to commemorate the miracle, on the first Sunday in May there is the ‘Lu Cencialone’ festival in Silvi, and the days prior the entire village works to prepare quantities of canes that are taken into the square in front of the Church of S. SalvatoreImage on the Sunday, where they are assembled to build a tall tower, a tube that can reach 10 meters high. Pulled by ropes, it stands upright and is held by cables on the sides, a youth then climbs to the top and sets fire to the Ciancialone, after which the people sing and dance around the enormous bonfire until there is only ash remaining.

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