are for people living in Sonnino simply "le Torce". It is not a feast or
a holiday, but just a manifestation of people which dates back in very
ancient time and it is perhaps the only manifestation where the Christian
rite combines with the pagan one.
"Le torce" develop with the simplicity of an
old Christian liturgy and a frame of folklore.
The walk on the mountains expresses the Christian
meaning of the penance and the traditional rural fervour with the
control need of the borders of the territory..
The singing of the Vespers in the Sanctuary della
Madonna delle Grazie starts the manifestation.
The Torches made of pure wax are blessed
by the pries, then they are given to four corporals who will lead all the
on the way.
|The departure takes place in St.
Peter's Square while the bells ring and some men shoot in the air.
On the border of town, the priest encourage and
bless the "pilgrinis" that begin their going to the mountains.
Their way is 30 km long. It starts at 2 p.m.
and ends the day after at about 5 in the morning.
At the place "la cona" the group divides in two
smaller groups: the first one covers "Costa dei Deveri, il bosco del Tavanese,
Monte delle Fate, then go down until "la Sassa".
|The second goes through the borders of Monte S. Biagio
and Terracina. Then they go down Monte Romano, Cascano, Frasso, Fossanova
and "la Sassa" where they meet the first groups. All together they turn
The most impressive part
of the manifestation is the night torchlight procession on the hillside
of the "Serre"; when the first torchlight begin to appears a great joy
and enthusiasm burst among the population who remained in Sonnino, and
the returning procession is greeted by the fireworks and rifle shots.
The sight is really exciting...
In the place "Sassa" the torches of the corporals,
that remain turned off, are cut in small pieces, and then distributed to
They are turn on in some particular moments; during
a storm or to beseech serious calamities.
The four corporals during the Vespers
The benediction before the departure
The impressive night torchlight procession
A 50 years picture.