by De Nino

The feast is for the Madonna of the Snow, on the 5th of August in Bugnara (L'Aquila).

The preparations begin a day before.
Those who take part in the cavalcade must get together, at the time of the procession, below the church of the Rosary, on the Rivo Bridge.
There are about forty horses, mules and donkeys. The animals carry each a sack of wheat on their bare backs.
The procession departs from the Mother Church and on the Rivo Bridge the cavalcade is already organized. Donkeys, horses, mules parade in front of the procession on foot. The owners of the animals and of the wheat ride on the sacks on the animals' backs.
The hats' vivid color ribbons blow in the wind. The one who goes in front wears a helmet made with wheat panicles.
Then all the others carry across their chests, like the bands of officers in detail, large strips of cooked dough.
The procession on horseback and on foot arrives to the Church of the Madonna of the Snow, located a half kilometer out of town. It stops to hear Mass, and immediately after, it returns to the point of departure.
In the square, in front of the Church of the Rosary, the religious ceremony ends.
The economic portion, that is to say the wheat, ends in the temporary granary of the feast's committee, and then in the definitive granary of the monsignor.

The popular traditions of Abruzzo