All Religious Feasts

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    Festa della Salute 2019

    Date: 21 November 2019

    Festa della Madonna della Salute, commonly known as Festa della Salute, is a religious celebration taking place every year on November 21, in Venice. The feast, dedicated in particular to the locals and less known by tourists, has a strong religious character, taking the form of a pilgrimage which starts from San Marco, from the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio, and ends in Dorsoduro, at the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, crossing the Grand Canal on a votive bridge specially built on boats for this occasion.   SHORT HISTORY Festa della Salute, like many local holidays, commemorates a painful moment in Venice’s history – the epidemic from 1630-1631. The disease had been brought from Mantova in June of 1630 by some ambassadors sent to ask for help, and spread rapidly throughout the city, killing almost 50,000 people in about a year. In the autumn of 1630, the Venetians organized a three-day procession involving more than 10,000 people, during which Nicolò Contarini, the Doge of Venice, invoked the help of the Virgin Mary and publicly promised to raise a church called Salute, if the city will get rid of the plague. In April, 1631, the Doge was killed by Read more [...]

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    Festa di Santa Lucia 2019 - 13 December 2019

    Date: 13 December 2019

    Festa di Santa Lucia 2019, the religious celebration dedicated to Saint Lucia of Syracuse, will take place on Friday, December 13, in Syracuse. The octave of the feast will take place next Friday, on December 20. Saint Lucia, the patron saint of Syracuse, is celebrated on two occasions. The feast on December 13 and 20 commemorates the martyrdom of the Saint, while the Feast of Saint Lucia of the Quails, held on two consecutive Sundays in May, recalls the miracle occured in 1646, when the city passed through a serious famine. Saint Lucia was a martyr who died during the time of the Roman Emperor Diocletian and his persecution of Christians. She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox churches.   PROGRAM OF THE EVENT On Friday, December 13, around 3.30 pm, the statue of the Saint will be carried in slow procession from the Cathedral of Syracuse, located on the island of Ortygia, to the Church of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro, located on the mainland, about 2 kilometers away. The procession will be followed by an 18th-century carriage, with costumed characters in the 18th century style. Many people, holding candles, will make the Read more [...]

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    Festa di Santa Lucia 2019 - 20 December 2019

    Date: 20 December 2019

    Festa di Santa Lucia 2019, the religious celebration dedicated to Saint Lucia of Syracuse, will take place on Friday, December 13, in Syracuse. The octave of the feast will take place next Friday, on December 20. Saint Lucia, the patron saint of Syracuse, is celebrated on two occasions. The feast on December 13 and 20 commemorates the martyrdom of the Saint, while the Feast of Saint Lucia of the Quails, held on two consecutive Sundays in May, recalls the miracle occured in 1646, when the city passed through a serious famine. Saint Lucia was a martyr who died during the time of the Roman Emperor Diocletian and his persecution of Christians. She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox churches.   PROGRAM OF THE EVENT On Friday, December 13, around 3.30 pm, the statue of the Saint will be carried in slow procession from the Cathedral of Syracuse, located on the island of Ortygia, to the Church of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro, located on the mainland, about 2 kilometers away. The procession will be followed by an 18th-century carriage, with costumed characters in the 18th century style. Many people, holding candles, will make the Read more [...]

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    Cavalcata dei Magi 2020

    Date: 6 January 2020

    Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    Cavalcata dei Magi 2020, the religious tradition that recreates the pilgrimage of the three Wise Men for the birth of Jesus, will take place on the occasion of the Epiphany, on January 6, in Florence. Epiphany is the feast that celebrates the revelation of the Incarnation of God as Jesus Christ, and the visit of the Magi to the Child.   SHORT HISTORY The Cavalcade of the Magi already existed as a tradition in the 15th century, when a company of laymen known as the Santi Re Magi (Holy Magi Kings) organized a festive procession through the streets of Florence. Initially, the procession was held every three years and, after 1447, every five years. The cavalcade comprised of three groups of people, who met in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and marched together to the Basilica of San Marco, where they sang hymns and prayers dedicated to the Christ Child. The Medici were also members of this company, which was prohibited after their exil from Florence, in 1494. In the following centuries, the celebration underwent many changes and lost its religious meaning, until it simply ceased to be held. Cavalcata dei Magi was resurrected in 1997, Read more [...]

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    Festa di Sant’Agata 2020

    Date: 3 February 2020 - 5 February 2020

    Festa di Sant’Agata 2020, one of the most important religious festivals in Sicily, will take place between February 3 and 5, in Catania. The feast is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Agatha, who was martyred around 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.   PROGRAM OF THE EVENT On February 3rd, around noon, the feast begins with a solemn procession dedicated to the wax offerings. From the Church of Sant’Agata alla Fornace to the Cathedral of Catania, the procession cuts through a very large crowd, being Read more [...]

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    Festa di San Corrado 2020

    Date: 19 February 2020

    Festa di San Corrado 2020, one of the most beautiful Sicilian religious celebrations, will take place on February 19, in Noto. The feast, dedicated to Saint Conrad of Piacenza, patron saint of the town of Noto, takes place twice a year, or if we count the octaves of the feast, four times a year. The one held on February 19 recalls the death of the Saint, while the one held in the last Sunday of August commemorates his beatification on August 28, 1515. Conrad of Piacenza, born Corrado Confalonieri, was an Italian hermit of the Third Order of Saint Francis, who lived between 1290 and 1351, and is now venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Around the year 1340, the Saint arrived in Noto and settled in a cave. He performed numerous miracles and when he died, on February 19, 1351, it is said that the bells of the town started ringing on their own.   PROGRAM OF THE EVENT On February 19, the silver urn which contains the remains of the saint is carried in procession through the streets of Noto, on the shoulders of the Bearers. The urn is preceded by the Confraternities holding the Read more [...]

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    Procession of the Apostles 2020

    Date: 9 April 2020

    Time: 6:30 pm to 12:00 am

    The Procession of the Apostles 2020, one of the most interesting traditions in Campania, will take place on April 9, on the day of the Holy Thursday, on the island of Procida. The religious manifestation is held, as usual, one day before the Good Friday and the Procession of the Mysteries. Both processions are organized by the Congregation of the Turchini, a religious brotherhood founded in 1583 by the Cardinal Innico D’Avalos of Aragon.   PROGRAM OF THE EVENT On the day of the Holy Thursday, around 6.30 pm, takes place the Washing of the feet ceremony at the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua. After the ceremony, the procession of the Twelve Apostles leaves the church to wind along the narrow streets of the island. The Apostles, dressed in white robes, with hoods and crowns of thorns on their heads, each of them carrying a wooden cross, are walking in perfect silence from one church to another, accompanied by members of the brotherhood. Their path is illuminated with torches. At every stop, the Apostles remove the crown of thorns, raise the hood, uncovering their face, and sing a hymn, accompanied by the choir of the faithful. After some moments Read more [...]

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    Good Friday Procession 2020

    Date: 10 April 2020

    The Good Friday Procession 2020, known also as the Procession of the Mysteries (Processione dei Misteri), will take place on April 10, on the island of Procida. The religious ceremony is held on the day of the Good Friday, one day after the Holy Thursday and the Procession of the Apostles. One of the most evocative and colorful in the whole Italy, the Good Friday Procession (Processione del Venerdì Santo) attracts thousands of people from Naples and the Phlegraean archipelago, but also a considerable number of tourists.   SHORT HISTORY The Good Friday Procession was born in the 17th century, from the initiative of the Congregation of the Turchini, as a penitential procession. The participants wore a sackcloth and were hitting themselves with whips until they bled. The practice was later forbidden by the church. The symbolism of the procession has been increasingly enriched over the centuries, until it reached its current form. Although the theme is always the same (Life, Passion and Death of Jesus Christ), the procession is never similar to that of the previous year. The procession consists of a series of chariots called Misteri (Mysteries), representing characters and scenes from the Bible, carried by young Procidans, Read more [...]

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    Festa di Santa Lucia delle Quaglie 2020 - 3 May 2020

    Date: 3 May 2020

    Festa di Santa Lucia delle Quaglie 2020, known also as the Patronage of Saint Lucia, will take place on Sunday, May 3, in Syracuse. The octave of the feast will take place next Sunday, on May 10. Saint Lucia, the patron saint of Syracuse, is celebrated twice every year. The Feast of Saint Lucia of the Quails recalls the miracle occured in 1646, while the feast held on December 13 and 20 commemorates the martyrdom of the Saint.   SHORT HISTORY The May celebration recalls the miracle occured in 1646, when the city passed through a serious famine, and ships loaded with grain arrived in the harbour at the right moment, saving the city from calamity. The legend tells that a quail flew inside the Cathedral to announce the miracle.   PROGRAM OF THE EVENT On the first Sunday of May, around midday, a short procession will take place from the Cathedral of Syracuse to the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, located only a few meters away, in the same square, Piazza Duomo. On this occasion, the statue of Santa Lucia is transported from one church to another and, during this short pilgrimage, doves are released from the balconies Read more [...]

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    Festa di Santa Lucia delle Quaglie 2020 - 10 May 2020

    Date: 10 May 2020

    Festa di Santa Lucia delle Quaglie 2020, known also as the Patronage of Saint Lucia, will take place on Sunday, May 3, in Syracuse. The octave of the feast will take place next Sunday, on May 10. Saint Lucia, the patron saint of Syracuse, is celebrated twice every year. The Feast of Saint Lucia of the Quails recalls the miracle occured in 1646, while the feast held on December 13 and 20 commemorates the martyrdom of the Saint.   SHORT HISTORY The May celebration recalls the miracle occured in 1646, when the city passed through a serious famine, and ships loaded with grain arrived in the harbour at the right moment, saving the city from calamity. The legend tells that a quail flew inside the Cathedral to announce the miracle.   PROGRAM OF THE EVENT On the first Sunday of May, around midday, a short procession will take place from the Cathedral of Syracuse to the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, located only a few meters away, in the same square, Piazza Duomo. On this occasion, the statue of Santa Lucia is transported from one church to another and, during this short pilgrimage, doves are released from the balconies Read more [...]

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    Festa di Santa Rosalia 2020

    Date: 15 July 2020

    Festa di Santa Rosalia 2020, one of the most important religious events in Sicily, will take place on July 15, in Palermo. The feast is dedicated to Saint Rosalia, also known as La Santuzza (Little Saint), the patron saint of Palermo, and it commemorates the miraculous appearances of the Saint from 1624, when Palermo was hit by plague.   SHORT HISTORY 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. The captain of the ship, Muhammad Calavà, and a part of the crew, were suspected of being sick. Shortly after, the disease, carried by rats, spread rapidly throughout the city. A 47-year-old woman, Girolama La Gattuta, suffering of strong fever at the Hospital of Palermo, had an angel vision. The angel told her to go to the Mount Pellegrino and pray. Three days later, Girolama recovered miraculously without going to Mount Pellegrino, but she fell ill again on May 7, 1624, when the plague hit the city. A few days later, Girolama climbed the Mount Pellegrino, drank some clear water that dripped from the walls of a cave, and miraculously healed. Read more [...]

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    Festa del Redentore 2020

    Date: 18 July 2020 - 19 July 2020

    Festa del Redentore 2020, one of the most important events in the Venetian calendar, will take place in the weekend of July 18-19, in Venice. The event, held every year in the third weekend of July, was at first a purely religious feast. Over time, 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 were living and to a high population density. 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 cured, and the Venetians initiated a new celebration called Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer). Today, on the occasion of the feast, a bridge is built across the Giudecca Canal, between Zattere and the Giudecca Island. The people cross the bridge in a short pilgrimage to the beautiful church of Read more [...]