On April 3rd, 1077, in Pavia, Emperor Henry IV sanctioned the birth of Patria del Friuli, as a reward for the loyalty of Patriarch Sigeardo who, during the civil war against the Emperor, had deployed troops at his side. For the Emperor supporting the Patriarch by asserting his power was crucial. The Act of Constitution of the Homeland of Friuli was sanctioned by German Emperor King Henry IV of Franconia; it read:
"In the name of the Holy and One Trinity. We, Henry the King, by the power of the divine Mercy, following the example of our fathers from faith, who used our wealth to build the churches to God, and enriched them both with what was collected through Royal taxes, having spent the days of our youth in health and honesty and so that our life could also enjoy even more joyful and peaceful times in our future, We want to continue with these fruitful initiatives.
So We want the subjects of Christ and our own to be known to all, and those who are such today and those who will be such in the future, and for the salvation of our soul and the intervention of our Most Excellent Mother and Empress Agnes, our bride and Queen Berta and our other loyal subjects, the archbishop of Milan Teodaldo, the archbishop of Ravenna Viperto, and also upon request of our beloved Chancellor Gregory, Bishop of Vercelli, the Bishop of Lausanne Bucardo, the bishop of Cizaniense Eppone, the bishop of Bennone Osnaburgense, the Dukes Guglielmo, Azzone and Adalberto, and by the faithful service of Patriarch Sigeardo, We give and we transfer to Patriarch Sigeardo, his successors and the Church of Aquileia, the County of Friuli and the village called Lucinico, with any right or benefit that Count Ludovico used to enjoy in the same county, and with all the prerogatives and privileges already in place, i.e. the convening of placiti, the right to poaching and each and all current and future income related thereof for any cause and reason.
We order that no marquis, earl, viscount or other person with any office in our kingdom will dare to deprive, harass, undermine the above-mentioned church or our faithful Patriarch Sigeardo nor his successors as to the goods donated and transferred herein. Should this happen, the offender will be liable to a fine of one hundred pounds of gold, half to be paid in the form of taxes and half to the Church of Aquileia. And so that this royal donation of ours remains unchanged and unchallenged, We order that it be written in this paper and that it be imprinted and sealed by Us.
A sign of our Lord King Henry IV the Invincible.
I, Gregory, Bishop of Vercelli and Chancellor on behalf of Lord Istoldo, Archbishop of Cologne and archchancellor, hereby notarize.
Written on 1077 A.D., fifteenth book, 26h year after the appointment of Henry IV, 24th year of his reign.
Done at Pavia."
The first edition of the Festival, held in Aquileia, dates back to 1977, on the nine hundredth anniversary of Henry IV's diploma. The creator and protagonist of the first edition was Don Francesco Placereani who had coordinated the event for several years, the Istitût Ladin Furlan having been named after him.
In the days of the "Fiestas" throughout the territory of Friuli, several events are organized, which culminate in a celebration organized every year in a different municipality.
Since the year 2002, when the celebration took place at the municipality of Aiello del Friuli, the event has enjoyed the official support of the Provinces of Gorizia, Pordenone and Udine, the three Friulian dioceses and the Regional government, acquiring a shared significance for the territory of Homeland Friuli. Even the provincial capitals of Friuli and the Regional School Office participate in various activities organized in view of the yearly event, along with many local communities and associations on the territory.
The following editions of Festa della Patria del Friuli were held in Pantianicco, in 2003; in Spilimbergo, in 2004; in Ovaro, in 2005; in Cormons, in 2006; back in Aquileia in 2007; in Cordovado, in 2008; in Buja, in 2009; in Lucinico, in 2010; in Maniago, in 2011; in Carlino, Muzzana del Turgnano and San Giorgio di Nogaro, in 2012; in Dolegna del Collio, in 2013; in Cavasso Nuovo, Fanna and Meduno, in 2014 and in Cividale del Friuli, in 2015.
2015 was the year when the Festival was officially recognized by the Region of Friuli, with the approval of Law No. 6 of March 27th, 2015, aiming at paying tribute to it origins, its culture and the history of the autonomy of the Friulian people.
According to the articles of the Law, the "Fiestas de Patrie dal Friûl" includes the organization of a public ceremony that recognizes civil and cultural values that still characterize the Friulian identity. Each year, schools and institutions are involved to carry out activities aimed at raising awareness, particularly among the young people, on the topics of autonomy and identity.
Here is the full text of the Law:
Law No. 6 of March 27th, 2015