La Festa dell’Ottava di Pasqua
There is a charming hilltop town near
Last weekend Ripatransone was a different town as they had their biggest celebration of the year called La Festa dell’Ottava di Pasqua. The weekend culminated in Sunday nights’ Cavallo di Fuoco, or “horse of fire”. The origins of this Festa go back over 360 years and celebrate the Madonna di San Giovanni, the patron saint of the town.
We went to see the Cavallo di Fuoco as we had seen many photos of it but we soon found out that photos do not capture the full feel of this event. The centro storico was packed with people and there were three areas where vendors were selling everything from porchetta panini to vino to ceramica. This being our first time to this event we did not know where the best location for viewing would be but there was a cold breeze coming off the
We needed not worry as more people packed into the piazze and once the Cavallo arrived the crowd was in an uproar. Many of the younger people had spent the evening enjoying the local vino and they were soon pushing the crowd along to follow the Cavallo.
The Cavallo di Fuoco is a wooden horse on wheels that is covered with pyrotechnics from head to tail and also shoots firework from its back into the sky. It has spinning wheels of pyrotechnics on its head and rear and all of these spray the people as they crowd around. Many hold their hands up in attempts to catch the flying sparks.
The Cavallo di Fuoco made ten passes in the main area in front of the Duomo and each pass found us being sprayed with sparks from the sides, head or rear of the Cavallo. At the ends when they would slowly turn the beast in the crowd fireworks would shoot into the dark sky above the crowd. After the finale we found our way back to our car smelling of sulfur and smoke but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
As we watched the Cavallo di Fuoco I could not help but chuckle at the thought that you would never be able to see something like this in the