Sicily celebrates hundreds of festivals and feasts. Its folklore and the traditional events that take place
through the year in all of its cities. The dates of many festivals may change from year to year.
The most notable are listed here:
6th January -
Each year on January 6 Italian children awaken to see if La Befana visited to their house. She stops at each child’s house to leave those who were good treats and those who were bad a lump of coal.
20th January -
Feast of St. Sebastian (San Sebastian) -
From 3rd to 5th February -
The event in honour of Saint Agatha (Sant'Agata) , the patron of Catania. Celebrations with a turn of events like processions, shows and exhibits.
From 3rd to 12th February -
40 days before Easter -
Carnival celebrations with parades of costumed actors, floats, games and holiday foods.
19th March – Feast of St. Joseph (all Sicily)
The event in honour of St. Joseph (San Giuseppe), the patron of the poor. It is celebrated with special pastries, breads and dinners.
Variable date – Easter (all Sicily)
Easter week is full of events, religious and festive.
From 14th to 20th May -
A week of sporting events and activities on Mondello Beach, in Palermo. The date listed above is for 2012.
3rd weekend of May -
Music, exhibitions, cultural and sacred tours animate the city and they are complementary to the main event, the Infiorata: a spectacular carpet of flowers that local artists prepare along Nicolaci street following a different theme each year from religion, mythology and popular culture.
Last Sunday of May -
There is a re-
From May to July -
National Institute of drama has kept the tradition of the classical revivals play at the Greek theatre in Syracuse since 1914. The Ciclo di Spettacoli Classici (Cycle of Classical Plays) is a grand summer season in the world's finest Greek theatre.
The 5th , 12th , 18th and 25th of June and Fridays in September and October -
The Sicilian Carriage Festival, which is held in Taormina every year, is closely associated with music, colour, art, religion and horses. It is quite impressive with brightly coloured carts, decorated horses, theatrically dressed drivers and musicians singing Sicilian ancient folk songs to the accompaniment of tambourines, accordions and flutes.
From July to August -
The world's best performers come to this famous resort. Taormina has its International Arts festival in the Greco-
Between 1st and 15th July -
The celebrations in honour of Saint Rosalia (Santa Rosalia), the patron of Palermo. A lot of people attend the feast, consisting of a main procession and numerous entertaining shows. The celebration is also an opportunity to enjoy the foods of the "tradizione palermitana", the "pasta con le sarde", and the "babbaluci" (boiled snails flavoured with garlic and parsley", and many others.
24th and 25th July – Feast of St. James ( Caltagirone)
In the feast of St. James (San Giacomo), patron of the Caltagirone, you can admire the " Scala illuminata di Santa Maria del Monte ". The stairs is illuminated by 4000 candles and form a large carpet of lights and colours. Every year, twice, between 24 and 25 July, the evenings of Caltagirone are animated by a show of great charm. As well, the heart of the town becomes an open-
From mid July to mid September – Kal’s Art Festival(Palermo)
Kals’Art is a two month long festival of music, cinema and theatre performances that takes place in various locations throughout the city of Palermo.
Late August or early September -
From 12th to 15th August – Parade of the Giants (Messina)
The Passeggiata dei Giganti is the procession of two giants: Mata, who founded the city, and his worthy opponent, Grifone the Moor.
24th August -
On the day of Saint Bartholomew (San Bartolomeo), the islanders enjoy a magnificent fireworks display over the sea.
From 7th to 8th September -
This religious event includes a procession of two enormous warriors following the statue of the Madonna around town. There are floats, plays and costumed participants.
From 25th to 30th September -
The undoubted star of the event is just the cous cous, a plate full of history, a symbol of fusion between different cultures, as well one of the typical dishes of San Vito Lo Capo. The festival also includes six evenings of music, featuring free performances by Sicilian and international artists. The date above is for 2012.
From 1st to 2nd October -
One example of the many small regional festivals going on year-
From 28th October to 1st October – Chocobarocco (Modica, Ragusa)
Main actor of the event is the artisan chocolate of Modica that it will be tasted in pieces or dissolved in a cup. Percussionists, flutists, violinists, actors and acrobats with choreographed aerial, interpreted on the sides of buildings in total suspension, will light up the nights of the event.
8th December -
All Sicily celebrates that day for the Virgin. After dark, she is carried through the narrow streets, beautifully evocative in the gold of the street lamps, accompanied by a marching band, garlands, fireworks, and everyone dressed in their best.
13th and 20th December – Feast of Saint Lucy (Syracuse)
This is Syracuse’s great occasion, beginning with a grand procession of the priceless silver statue of Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia), with dignitaries, marching bands, holiday lights arching over the streets, fireworks, hundreds of citizen "penitenti" in bare feet, Swedish beauties in ermine, and Lucy’s arm. She proceeds across town to the Church of Santa Lucia. On Dec 20 she parades back to the Duomo Cathedral. It all begins and ends with mass in the Cathedral; such shared religious experience is living Catholicism.
25th December – Christmas (all Sicily)
Christmas time is full of events, religious and festive.