Festa del Santissimo Salvatore della Trasfigurazione (Feast of the Most Holy Savior of the Transfiguration) is a religious feast held every year in Cefalù, between 2 and 6 August, dedicated to the patron saint of the city. During these five days, farmers, who have just finished the harvest, find themselves resting and rejoicing.
The Transfiguration is a moment in the New Testament, when the Christ and three of his apostles, Peter, James and John, go to a mountain, and the Son of God becomes radiant in glory, shining with bright rays of light.
In the Eastern world, the festivity of the Transfiguration is to be traced back to the fourth century, when Empress Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, built the Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, in Israel.
In Sicily, the Transfiguration is celebrated starting with the 12th century, and is closely linked to the Rogerian period. Only in 1457, in gratitude for the victory obtained in Belgrade by the Christian army against Turkey, Pope Callistus III also established the feast of the Transfiguration in the Western Europe.
The devotion of the city of Cefalù to the Most Holy Savior begun with the construction of the Cefalù Cathedral by the Norman King Roger II. In the Cathedral, the great evangelical event of the Transfiguration of Jesus is depicted by the magnificent mosaic of Christ Pantocrator.
The first information about the festivity of the SS. Salvatore can be found in a document from 1159, but the event that tied Cefalù to its Patron Saint in an indissoluble way, is the violent earthquake of February 5th, 1783, which shook the entire Sicily. Cefalù remained intact after the invocation of the Most Holy Savior.
FESTA DEL SANTISSIMO SALVATORE DELLA TRASFIGURAZIONE 2019 will be held, as usual, between 2 and 6 August, beginning on 2nd of August with a suggestive ceremony: the placing of the Flag of Christ Pantocrator between the two towers of the Cathedral.
In the last day of the festivities, takes place a competition called Antinna a mari, organized by the fishermen of the town. In the competition, they try to conquer a white flag attached to the tip of a very long pole placed horizontally at the sea, firmly fixed to the quay, made slippery with soap and grease.
In the late afternoon, the solemn procession of the Santissimon Salvatore takes place. At the end of the procession, Piazza Duomo is crowded with believers and the Bishop’s speech concludes the celebrations in honor of the Savior. The evening ends with a fireworks display on the seafront of Cefalù.