Escape of the Ox

by mirko

The Fuga del Bove in Montefalco has its roots in the period of maximum splendor of the city, between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the current format of the festival has been in force since 1972. The event is included in the August Montefalchese program.

The tradition of the Fuga del Bove, which is renewed every year in the Umbrian town on August 13, recalls the past tradition in which on Christmas day an ox was led through the streets of the city pulled by a hundred fathoms, along this bloody path it was incited with cloths and rag dolls to make the beast unleash all its strength against men. Eventually, the exhausted beast was killed. Later it was slaughtered and its meat cheered the tables of every Montefalco citizen on Christmas day.

Nowadays this ancient, bloody race is bloodlessly re-enacted, giving life to the Fuga del Bove. The different districts of Montefalco challenge each other by making the ox run through the city streets, between two wings of the crowd, to give prestige and glory to the neighborhood to which they belong.

Within the festival there is the artistic representation; which is staged by the four districts on the evening of August 13, where artistic and scenic skills are brought into play. Each year the theme of this show is chosen and it is unique for all four districts.

Much coveted by every neighborhood and its drummers and flag-wavers, it is the prize of the “Falco d'Oro”.

The crossbow competition takes place in a solemn atmosphere, in the rich historical costumes the crossbowmen of the neighborhoods challenge each other in the silence of the crowd, the apex of antagonism is reached with the relay race in which the neighborhoods give all of themselves to make triumph their neighborhood. The historical procession represents one of the most beautiful moments of the party in the streets of Montefalco the procession unfolds with its four hundred figures dressed in the beautiful costumes of the time.

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