Get Adobe Flash player

The olive oil and folk traditions

The oil story is lost in the mists of time: the dove returning to Noah's ark with a fresh olive branch to the foundation where the Acropolis of Athens an olive check perpetually laden with fruit, and then the marks on the sacredness of this tree in the Bible, Homer, in Latin writers. The oil is present in the offertory, and rites of purification, is offered to saints and dead is shining on the athletes' bodies in the greek-roman world, representing all cultures in the covenant between God and men, and its load of symbols religion is still alive in the popular traditions of Abruzzo.

The cultivation of very much practiced since ancient times in Abruzzo, even in areas such as the Forge: Virgil mentions the presence in the Marsi, and Ovid documents the production in the Valley Peligna, its cultivation area is for the most luxuriant and vestina Penne call from Silius Italic "Pinnam Virentem", the green for the richness of olive trees.

In the folkloric traditions of Abruzzo oil el'ulivo have a place of considerable importance. The presence of many magic-religious practices is well documented. The olive leaves are also used in witchcraft: the composition of the "short", bag packed by the magare for protection from evil influences. Moreover, it is believed that the olive leaf, burnt, take away the evil eye. It is a sign of serious trouble and future oil spill on the ground and scatter.

A bomb, every year on the last Sunday of May, the feast of the patron saint, is blessed with oil San Mauro where pilgrims and devotees from all over the chietino are rubbing their legs, wrists, ears, head and the bottles they buy are used against any pain throughout the year. On 3 February, in honor of St. Biagio, thousands of devotees receive the anointing ritual against diseases of the throat. A Civitarenga in the plain of Navenby, the cult of Our Lady of the Arch was born by a miracle of the oil lamp that was burning and that he healed a traveler from a terrible evil.A Pescosolido, September 8, pilgrims go to shrines of Our Lady Crowned with oil to anoint the sanctuary lamp, and many devotees will bring home a little to anoint the sick who could not attend the pilgrimage to Furci (Chieti) , the devotees are massaged limbs with holy oil by Fra Angelico, considered miraculous for ear infections.

A Fara S. Martin's against the headaches, boil for 15 minutes a few olive leaves to make a decoction to be drunk. Many medicinal herbs are chopped and mixed with olive oil to extract oils and ointments. Before the advent of antibiotics was common to use oil for the treatment of sore throat and respiratory tract. In folk medicine, the leaves of olive trees are considered to be hypotensive, coronary vasodilator, diuretic to be taken in decoction. Bread and oil basics, basic traditional food, are now carefully re-discovered by the Mediterranean diet and served on every table with the classic "bruschetta".

Sign of health, wealth was the possession of the oil, cover for the winter, remained still, in many families, the "supply" for the winter season.

The olive harvest is certainly an important moment of the agricultural calendar: from the ancient gestures with which they grasp the songs that accompany the operation. Oil is a symbol of light in the folk tradition and the tree and its fruit is loaded with meanings and values ​​in many legends, such as those that would have protected the Madonna and child, arrived in Abruzzo to escape to the Jews, to hide among the branches of an olive tree which then turned into the hut.

The olive tree is the most valuable because nothing is lost it is a sign of peace since the days of Noah and Abruzzi was exchanged between the spouses and families to strengthen the bonds of friendship.The olive tree has seen the triumph of Jesus into Jerusalem and his agony in the garden, his death on the cross that appears to have been made of its wood, a sprig of blessed olive tree is put into the head of the bed to get a good night, Palm Sunday of the olive tree is kept to avert the storm which threatens the harvest, olive ash is what is put on the head on Ash Wednesday or scattered in the fields to ward off evil, is the olive wood "Tecchio" that Christmas Eve begins to burn in the fireplace with twelve smaller pieces to remember Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.



mare abruzzo