Fruottula is one of the oldest popular traditions in Cefalù, a sort of profane procession led by a drum player (tammurinaru), who with the rhythmic beats of his instrument announces the arrival of the parade, consisting mostly of children.
With a piece of bread (cucciddatu) tied to the end of a stick, the children, praising the precious fruit of the earth, precede a palanquin and other chariots, all rigorously decorated with plants and flowers, whose theme is entrusted to the organizers of the event.
Fruottula, which is also called The Feast of Bread, precedes by one day the Feast of Corpus Domini, which, in ancient times, was an integral part. On that occasion, the peasants wore a suit that distinguished them, women with black dresses and white gloves, and men with shirts and black bowler hats.
The word fruottula is a term that, in the Sicilian vocabulary, indicates a poem composed to be put on music. In particular, in Cefalù, fruottula has always indicated a sang poem consisting of three verses. This composition, sung by a soloist or a choir, sometimes treated profane themes, often satirical and irreverent, but in almost all cases carried out religious themes, telling the lives of the saints or exalting the glory of the Lord.
In Sicily, the fruottula was performed on the parade and found a place in religious processions, even in those dedicated to the city’s Patron, as we find in Cefalù for the Festa di SS. Salvatore, in Palermo for Festa di Santa Rosalia or in Catania for Festa di Sant’Agata.
LA FRUOTTULA 2018 will take place on June 3rd and, if you happen to be in Cefalù at that time, you will have the opportunity to observe one of the most interesting local traditions.