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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.

Christmas in Nicolosi

Traditional Christmas Markets from 26th November 2016 to 8th January 2017. The beautiful village on the Etna slopes organizes the usual Christmas exhibition named “Neve & Lapilli” (snow and lapillus): there are planned concerts, tastings and shows.  Since the very first days if December,  notes and Christmas songs of Bagpiper passing  through the streets of the historical center, will create Christmas mood transmitting the magic atmosphere of Christmas.

zampognaro

Do not miss the Christmas markets, where you can find Nativity scenes exhibition, decorations for the Christmas tree, toys, candles, arts and crafts products, Christmas cakes, ceramics and lots of gifts, together with tastings of typical products.

During Christmas period the streets of the little town on the slopes will be enriched with decorations and lights: on Christmas’ Eve the meetring is in the Square around the traditional “Christmas stump” to enjoy the magical atmosphere of Christmas gladdened by  the music feature of the Bagpiper. On December 31, as a tradition, in the streets of the village you will hear Christmas songs, poems and folk music thanks to the Association Aetnensis.

Here you are a special occasion to spend some holiday days in Nicolosi, relax in one of the beautiful Villas in Catania and take the chance to visit the others villages in the surroundings.

nicolosi-monastero

Nicolosi, near Catania, is located alongside the Monti Rossi (literally Red Mountains) , 691 meters above sea level.  The village  took its name from the Benedictine monastery of St. Nicholas, built in the second half of the century 12th. Nicolosi is a tourist destination for those tourists who want to reach Etna. There are ski slopes, a cable-car; and you can get to the crater, accompanied by guides. Nicolosi is a popular holiday destination, as it is the starting point for visiting the summit craters of Etna volcano.