All Religious Feasts

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    Festa di Sant’Agata 2022

    Date: 3 February 2022 - 5 February 2022

    Festa di Sant’Agata 2022 will take place between 3 and 5 February, 2022, in Catania. The feast is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Agatha, who was martyred in the year 251 AD, during the persecution of the Roman Emperor Decius. Saint Agatha is celebrated in Catania twice a year – the feast held in February commemorates the martyrdom of the Saint, while the Summer Feast of Saint Agatha, held on 17 August, celebrates the return of her remains to Catania, after 86 years in which the relics were kept in Constantinople. In February, around one million people come from all over Sicily to attend the feast, which is comparable with the Holy Week in Seville, Spain, or the Feast of Corpus Domini in Cuzco, Peru. For three days, the city forgets about everyday things to focus on the celebration, a mixture of devotion and folklore.   SHORT HISTORY Born of a noble family from Catania in the 3rd century, Agata consecrated her life to the Christian religion. At the age of 15, she made a vow of virginity and rejected the amorous proposals of the Roman prefect Quintianus, who tried numerous times to seduce her. After Read more [...]

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    Scoppio del Carro 2022

    Date: 17 April 2022

    Scoppio del Carro 2022 (Explosion of the Cart) will take place on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Piazza del Duomo, in Florence.   SHORT HISTORY The ceremony dates back to the times of the First Crusade, called to free the city of the Jerusalem in 1099. According to legend, it was the Florentine Pazzino from the Pazzi family who first climbed the walls of the Holy City, where he placed the Christian flag. For this act of valor, Godfrey of Bouillon, one of the leaders of the First Crusade, donated three small pieces from the Holy Sepulcher to him. Returning to Florence, Pazzino was celebrated and welcomed with solemn honors. It seems that, after the liberation of Jerusalem, on Saturday, the crusaders gathered in the Church of the Resurrection and, in devout prayer, gave everyone the blessed fire as a symbol of purification. After the return of Pazzino to Florence, every Saturday, the young Florentine people used to go to the cathedral, lit a small torch and carried the purifying flame through the city. The fire was lit with the sparks made by the fragments of the Holy Sepulcher. In time, the carrying of the holy fire was made Read more [...]

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    Pisan June 2022

    Date: 28 May 2022 - 6 July 2022

    The Pisan June (Giugno Pisano) is a series of events that take place every year during the month of June, in Pisa. The climax of the festival is represented by the celebrations held in honor of the patron saint of the city, San Ranieri (Saint Rainerius), on June 17. The Pisan June 2022 will probably begin at the end of May, with the historical game of Mazzascudo, and end at the beginning of July, when the ceremony of the Marriage with the Sea will be held. SHORT HISTORY Originally, Giugno Pisano included only the Luminara di San Ranieri, held on June 16, and the Palio of San Ranieri, held on the day of the Saint, on June 17. In order to create a month of interesting events, Gioco del Ponte (Battle of the Bridge) was also moved to June, on the last Saturday of the month. Over time, many other events were initiated, more or less linked to Saint Rainerius. Noteworthy are the recovered traditions of Mazzascudo, which takes place each year on May 28, in Piazza dei Cavalieri, and the Marriage with the Sea, which is held at the beginning of July. Although placed on different months, the two Read more [...]

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    Festa della Madonna della Bruna 2022

    Date: 2 July 2022

    Festa della Madonna della Bruna 2022 will take place on July 2, 2022, in Matera. The event, commonly known as Festa della Bruna, is a religious feast held every year since 1389, in honor of the patron saint of the city, Madonna della Bruna. The 2022 edition will be the 632 edition of the festival.   SHORT HISTORY The origins of the festival are lost in time. The custom, handed down from one generation to the next, was enriched over time by innumerable variations. The legend tells that a farmer, in his way to Matera, took a young lady in his cart. Near the town, she got out of the cart and asked the peasant to tell the Bishop that she was the Mother of Christ. When he heard that, the Bishop, along with the clergy and the townspeople, rushed to welcome the Virgin, but they found a statue in her place. The statue of the Madonna was brought to the city on a decorated triumphal chariot. Today, the statue of the Madonna is located in the transept of the Matera Cathedral. Until the 16th century, the feast was characterized mainly by a procession that took place at dawn, called Read more [...]

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    Festa di Santa Rosalia 2022

    Date: 10 July 2022 - 15 July 2022

    Festa di Santa Rosalia 2022 (Feast of Saint Rosalia 2022) will take place between 10 and 15 July, 2022, in Palermo. Every year, the festival lasts six days, with the first three days being reserved for the preparation of the great procession held on the evening of July 14th. The 2022 edition will be the 398 edition of the festival. The feast is dedicated to Saint Rosalia, also called La Santuzza (Little Saint) or Rusulia (in Sicilian dialect), the patron saint of Palermo, and it commemorates the miraculous appearances of the Saint from 1624, when the city was hit by plague.   SHORT HISTORY Born of a Norman noble family that claimed descent from Charlemagne, Santa Rosalia lived in the last years of her life as a hermit in a cave on Mount Pellegrino, where she died alone in 1166. In 1624, Emanuel Filibert of Savoy, the Viceroy of Sicily, who resided in the city, brought to the port of Palermo a ship from Tunis, containing many gifts. Muhammad Calavà, the captain of the ship, and some of the crew, were suspected of being sick. Shortly after, the disease, carried by rats, spread rapidly all over the city. A 47-year-old Read more [...]

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    Festa del Redentore 2022

    Date: 16 July 2022 - 17 July 2022

    Festa del Redentore 2022 (Feast of the Redeemer 2022), one of the most important events in the Venetian calendar, will take place in the weekend of July 16-17, 2022, in Venice. Every year since the 16th century, the feast is celebrated in the third weekend of July. At first, Festa del Redentore was a purely religious event, but over the centuries profane elements were added to the religious manifestations, and today the celebration includes a party, a regatta and one of the most impressive fireworks display in the world.   SHORT HISTORY Between 1575 and 1577, a merciless plague killed about one-third of Venice’s population. The epidemic spread rapidly throughout the city and was difficult to control due to the precarious conditions in which the people lived and to a high density of population.   INTERESTING FACT: One of the victims of the 1576 epidemic was the painter Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). He died on August 27, 1576, and was interred in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. In 1576, the Venetian Senate commissioned a church dedicated to Jesus the Redeemer (Il Redentore), hoping to get rid of the disease. A year later, in July, the city was declared Read more [...]