Festa di San Sebastiano 2023 will take place on January 20, 2023, in the beautiful town of Acireale.
The Feast of Saint Sebastian is a religious feast which takes place every year since the beginning of the 17th century in Acireale, on January 20, the date of the Catholic celebration of the saint.
Saint Sebastian, born in Narbonne, France, around the middle of the 3rd century AD, was a Roman legionary under Diocletian. According to tradition, he was killed in the year 288 by Diocletian for his Christian faith.
In 1063, the cult of Saint Sebastian was introduced to Sicily by the Lombards following Roger I.
The cult of the saint spread on the island between 1625 and 1630, when he was invoked to stop the terrible plague epidemic that afflicted Sicily.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
On January 20, at 11.00 am, the palanquin (fercolo) with the statue of the saint, weighing several tons, leaves the Collegiate Basilica of San Sebastiano, and is transported to Piazza del Duomo, near the Cathedral of Maria Santissima Annunziata.
Later, the fercolo is carried through Piazza San Domenico, passing in front of the church of the same name, and stops in front of the ascent of Via San Biagio, approximately 80 meters long and with a slope of over 20 degrees. Then, the devotees carry the palanquin on their shoulders to the end of Via San Biagio.
Around 4:00 pm, the fercolo is carried through Via Vittorio Emanuele II, and arrives in Piazza Agostino Pennisi, close to the old railway station of the city. Here, a train stops in front of the saint, whistling a greeting.
At 8.30 pm, the saint passes through Via Roma and enters Corso Umberto I. In Largo Papa Giovanni XXIII, it stops in front of the door of the Bishop’s Palace (Palazzo Vescovile). The evening ends with a fireworks display in Piazza del Duomo.
On January 27, the octave of the feast takes place, when, in the evening, the palanquin of Saint Sebastian is carried again in procession on the streets of Acireale.
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