On January 17 Italians celebrate the Festa di Sant’ Antonio Abate, feast day of Saint Antony the abbot.
This festival is celebrated throughout Italy but is especially colorful in southern and central Italy. The focus of Saint Anthony's day is usually a huge bonfire, probably because this saint is supposed to protect against skin diseases like shingles, called fuoco di Sant’Antonio or fire of Saint Anthony in Italy. He's also patron saint of domestic animals so there's usually a mass that includes pets and farm animals. As with most Italian festivals, there may be music and processions, too.
More about la Festa di Sant’ Antonio Abate:
* Blessing of the Pets with photos (on Italian Notebook)
* Feast of Sant' Antonio Abate
* Feast of Sant' Antonio Abate videos of celebrations in Puglia and Campania regions (on Italy Magazine)
Italy has festivals throughout the year. Attending an Italian festival is a great way to experience Italy's culture during your travels. Take a look ahead with our Italian Festivals by month.