Festivals in Sicily: an autumnal overview

Beautiful Sicily: the sea, the beach, the food and the saints.

A lot of festivals in this part of South Italy evolves around saints, like the “Saint Vito Day” that is celebrated the first Sunday of September in the Sicilian town of Ciminna, down  in the Palermo province. Why is it so important? It is a big parade recalling the life of Saint Vito with people in period costumes. A livestock fair also takes place along with the celebration. Another interesting and full of picturesque flair is the Festival of the Madonna of the Sick is also happening the first weekend of September in Sicily, exactly in the town of Misterbianco.
The festival evokes the miracle of the sanctuary being saved from fire and lava during the catastrophical Etna’s eruption in 1669.

From 11-15 September,  La Festa della Madonna degli Ammalati is a five-day festival celebrating this miracle. On Thursday evening, strong men will carry the 51 kilogram bell rescued from the lava from  Misterbianco’s  Mother-Churchto another of the town’s churches; the next morning at sunrise, the bell is carried another five kilometres to the Sanctuary of the Madonna degli Ammalati.

After the mess and some more celebrations on Saturday, on Sunday “La Cantata” will move a lot your soul: you will see hundreds of the faithful  gathering and  swaying, dancing and singing praises to the Madonna. On Monday, the painting of the Madonna of the Sick holding Jesus will be shown in a long parade throughout the town and the final fireworks display will top it all!!!

Instead, the second Sunday of September in Sicily just go in the village of Patti, in  Messina province for the incredible Festival of the Madonna a Mare, (Festival of the Madonna of the sea). A golden Madonna statue is carried to the sea in a long parade, then put on an lightned boat to go first as leading the boat procession. After that, you can enjoy loads of dancing, music, food and wine!!!

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