At dusk, in the dark winter days of January, a group of musicians and singers, instruments in one hand, glasses of wine in the other, led by a figure dressed in a worn tunic and carrying a basket for begging, start their long ritual walk around the houses, filling the country kitchens with noise and songs. It is the team of Li Sandandonijrë, that celebrates in this way the feast of St Anthony the Abbot, bringing the blessing of music to the families and to the food produced by the farmers during the cold season: the sausages , loins, hams, and other products derived from the processing of pork meat, which they receive as gifts together with cheese and biscuits during their visits.
COST PER PERSON
12-13 January 2019
SEATS AVAILABLE: 3
LANGUAGE SPOKEN: ITA,ENG,FRA
We propose a tour where participants will be able to join the players on their alms collection rounds, closely observing a musical tradition and ritual that takes place every year in a domestic and private setting, often difficult to access. Over the years Li Sandandonijrë, have always welcomed small groups of people, in a spirit of friendship and sharing, to allow those who wish to experience the house-to-house singing ritual , and the wonderful hospitality that characterizes many families in Penna Sant’Andrea that every year await the visit of the singers, offering light refreshments that have been specially prepared for the occasion, or that are improvised at the time.
It will be possible to join the group, ruin your health together with them, fall into ditches and try to sing after the sixteenth house, by which time you will have no inhibitions left, your vocal cords will have been loosened by the local wines, and you will have got over your awe of the most intimidating members of the travelling team. As the group is reluctant to accept monetary transactions, all they ask for in exchange is for a symbolic donation to the holy land, absolute devotion to the practice, discretion, and offers of non-industrial food, preferably made at home and placed in the basket at the beginning, before it is filled to the brim with cellittë – the typical biscuits stuffed with jam, made in all the houses during the feast of Saint Anthony -, local cheeses, strings of sausages, living roosters and all sorts of .leftovers
At the end of the evening, the survivors will be able to return home easily, walking or rolling along the hills that lead back down into the valley, or they can stay in the comfortable accommodation facilities in the area. In case of bad weather the house-to-house alms collection will be even more fun among the puddles and snow flakes. It should also be noted that the routes will be totally impromptu, so it is useless to ask from which house you leave and, more importantly, where you will end up
The group was formally created as a cultural association in 1998, but had existed as an informal group of friends engaged in singing for begging since the early 1990s. Always lovers of the tradition of singing, wandering around the scattered houses and hamlets of the area for the feast of St Anthony the Abbot, they have taken the music of the oral tradition of the area of the Middle Vomano to numerous national and international festivals and exhibitions, producing CDs, DVDs and books dedicated to the tradition of St Anthony the Abbot.