I Fochi Paoli: Morosaglia celebrates the father of the homeland
You sure have heard about Pasquale Paoli. He is considered the “father of the homeland” in Corsica. Paoli was the General of the Corsican Nation, the man who gave our ancestors a brief yet precious period of independence during the XVIIIth century. He is still today the most influential figure in Corsican history.
The admiration for the character and what he stood for gave birth in his native village of Morosaglia to various initiatives. There is a museum, a great statue of the General, and a yearly event: I Fochi Paoli. Pasquale Paoli died in London in 1807. However, the remains of the deceased General only came back to Corsica in 1899. It is said to have been a day of intense fervor throughout Corsica and this is what the association “I Fochi Paoli” works to recreate every year.
I Fochi Paoli, a unique moment of sharing
Hundreds of people from all around Corsica respond every year to the invite of the association. It usually takes place during spring (the 3rd of June this year). In Morosaglia we see some ladies, children, and men preparing to wear traditional clothes for the procession. In the meantime, people arrive with food and drinks of all sorts: all is going to be shared, it is the tradition. Inside the church, well-known groups are singing. Some are playing famous songs, others carry on the traditional sacred chant. The afternoon goes on with the church service, with talented kids playing some music, or people dancing the quadrille.
Dusk is on its way and it is time to follow the procession to the grave of Pasquale Paoli and his statue. The local brotherhood leads the way, followed by the crowd. The Corsican flag is everywhere. Some of the attendants wear soldiers’ uniforms from the Paoli era. They carry old pistols, guns, and moreover two canons. The deflagration they provoke marks the end of the procession. Everybody comes back to the church square and can enjoy a moment of sharing around the huge fire.
I Fochi Paoli is really a special event. It teaches you back to some sense of simplicity, as you enjoy a precious moment with people you know for decades, others you never met but who share the same attachment to Corsican culture and history. I Fochi Paoli is all about friendliness and sharing. It suits very well the Corsican way of life.
For more information about I Fochi Paoli, you can check the Facebook Page of the association here.