The Almond blossom festival
27 February 2019

The Almond blossom festival

A festival between myth, folklore and tradition

As every year when spring approaches the Almond blossom festival begins in Agrigento. The main idea is to celebrate the arrival of spring with the blossoming of almond trees to celebrate the miracle of life. This year the festival will take place from the 1st to the 10th March in the beautiful scenery of the Valley of the Temples.

Almond flowers
Almond flowers

History

The festival was celebrated for the first time in the 30’s in Naro from a request of Count Alfonso Gaetani, with the intention of making the typical Sicilian products known throughout the world. It was called “the feast of the new year”(“festa dell’annata nova” in Italian) and celebrated the myth of Proserpina. In the streets of the village there was a parade of carts in bloom and women wearing rich costumes, dancers and musicians. A few years later this festival moves to Agrigento with the name of “Almond blossom festival” becoming the festival of folklore: in fact there are many folk groups that take part to it.

The myth of the Almond blossom

The legend tells that the flowering of almonds tree is linked to the history of Acamante and Fillide. Acamante left for the Trojan war, and his beloved waited for him for 10 years; after the war the Greeks returned home except Acamante,so Fillide thought he was dead and died desperately.The goddess Athena decided to turn her into an almond tree. Actually the man was late in coming back and when he heard of his woman he went to the tree and hugged her. The almond tree flourished at that moment.

The festival in Agrigento today

Currently the festival begins with a visit to the Valley of the Temples and the lighting of the torch of friendship in front of the temple of the Concordia:the main objective of the festival is to send messages of peace to all populations. At the end of the festival you can admire the Sicilian carts with musical bands that move from the city to the Valley of the Temples, while a jury elects the groups that have danced and sung best by awarding them the prize of the Gold Temple. In parallel to the festival are organized other initiatives: Miss Spring is elected and the most beautiful balcony in flower of Via Atenea, the main street of Agrigento, or even the Children’s Festival in the world with the intent to spread the rights of children.

Curiosities

During the different editions of the festival unique culinary creations were produced.
In 2011 the longest peanut nougat was created with a lenght of 660 metres, while in 2016 the longest fruit cake in the world was created with a lenght of 606 metres and a weight of almost 3 tonnes, both products were included in the Guinnes World Records.

We suggest you not to miss this beautiful festival, and in order to spend your holiday at best..ask for a private transfer to travel comfortably!

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