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Wonder  }  Culture

The Wheat Festival and its Museum

Molise traditions: when grain becomes art

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Where is

Molise

86015 Jelsi CB, Italia (605m s.l.m.)

Directions
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What it is and where it is

Jelsi, in Molise, is home to a special museum: the Community Museum of the Wheat Festival. Community? Grain Festival? Yes. The halls of the MuFeG house real works of art made from grains of wheat and the various parts of the ears of grain. They are artistic installations for the traglie, traditional agrarian carts that, on the occasion of the Festa del Grano, parade through the streets of the town honoring the statue of St. Anne, carried in procession. The entire community of Jelsi participates in the festival and its preparations, passing on ancient knowledge and traditions. MuFeG's task is to make the emotions, beauty and techniques of this celebration endure throughout the year, allowing even those who missed the actual festival to enjoy its wonders.

Why it is special

The feast of St. Anne is one of the most important in Molise and is therefore deeply felt by the population. For this reason, everything that is made in her honor is charged with emotion: the grain from food becomes art, and everyone contributes according to his or her sensibility and skills. So here we will see representations of historical figures, such as King Victor Emmanuel II and Garibaldi; contemporary, such as Pope Francis, but also fairy tale characters, everyday objects, views and architecture... all strictly made of wheat.

Not to be missed

The Festa del Grano takes place every year on July 26 and is definitely the best time to see the traglie and decorations in their environment, surrounded by a cheerful crowd, often dressed in their traditional clothes, intent on rural activities and preparing traditional foods. In contrast, MuFeg allows one to admire the beauty of these works more calmly, catching their details, smelling their scent, pausing to admire them and thinking that nowhere else would we ever find anything like them.

A bit of history

On July 26, 1805, a strong earthquake brought destruction to Molise. In Jelsi, however, there were very few victims. This grace was attributed to St. Anne, who is celebrated on that very date. Since that time, every July 26 the statue of the saint is carried in procession so that people can thank her. In her honor, wagons are decorated with the wonderful grain structures. In the weeks leading up to it, the whole village is abuzz with preparations. In 2015, a museum was finally opened to keep alive the memory and beauty not only of the works themselves, but of the knowledge, affection, and devotion of the people of Jelsi.

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