The celebration of Saint Agata

The celebration of Sant ‘Agata, Patron of Catania, is a local festival among the most beautiful festivals  in the world. February 3 to 5,  three days of worship, devotion, folklore and traditions. In the days of the festival will take place the traditional Fair of St. Agata. We assure you that it is an event that you can’t really miss, and you have to participate in it at least once in your life. So you can reserve a Villa in Catania from the rich catalogue and enjoy your holiday in Sicily living this amazing experience.

carro sant'agata

Annually Catania offers to its Patron an extraordinary celebration that can be compared to the Holy Week in Seville or Corpus Christi in Cuzco, Peru. In these days, the city forgets everything to focus on the feast, a mixture of devotion and folklore, which annually attracts up to one million people, including devotees and curious. The first day is reserved for the offering of candles. According to tradition, a person praying for Grace, has to offer to Sant’Agata a candle that must be as heavy or tall as he is.

Two eighteenth-century carriages, are carried in procession; once  they belonged to the Senate who ruled the city, and eleven “Candlemas”, large candles representative of the guilds or crafts,. This first day of celebration ends in the evening with  great fireworks in Piazza Duomo. The fireworks during the feast of Sant’Agata, not only mean the great joy of the believers, but also  take a special significance, because they remember that the  Patron Saint, who was martyred on the grill, always supervises the fire of Etna Volcano and all fires.

sant'agata 2

February 4 is the most exciting day because it marks the first meeting of the city with the Patron Saint. Since the first hours of dawn the streets are populated by “citizens”. They are devotees who wear the traditional “sack” (a votive white linen shirts long to the ankle and tied at the waist by a cord), a black velvet cap, white gloves, and also waving a white handkerchief ironed thick folds. Three different keys, each guarded by a different person, are needed to open the iron gate that protects  the Relics inside the Cathedral.

Glittering with gold and precious gems, the bust of Sant’Agata is hoisted on the Renaissance silver cart, lined with red velvet, the color of the blood of martyrdom, but also the color of kings. Before leaving the Cathedral for the traditional procession through the streets of the city, Catania welcomes its Patron Saint with a solemn “Dawn Mass”, celebrated by the Archbishop. Among the roars of a celebratory gunfire, people load the casket containing  the Relics and start to carry it in procession through the city.

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