3 February 2018

Saint Agatha festival: history and program

Saint Agatha festival in Catania.

Saint Agatha festival is celebrated in Catania and it is also the most famous religious festival in Sicily. This is also considered the third festival most important in the world, after Semana Santa of Siviglia and Perù’s Corpus Domini Festival.

Consequently Saint Aghata festival is inserted in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

It commemorates the city’s patron life, Aghata of Sicily.



It takes place every year, from the 3rd until 5th of February and August 17th.

In addition, particularities that it let be know are:

  • clothes: all the devouts wear a white surplice (called “sacco“), with white glove and black hat;
  • the “Candelora“: big candles covered by flowers, flags, paints;
  • the palanquin is located in the “Vara” (religious float), both are made of silver;
  • especially relevant during the procession, along the streets of Catania, are devout’s screams:

“Citatini evviva S.Aita”

“Citadini… citadini…”

“Semu tutti devoti tutti?”

“Evviva S.Aita!”


 “Evviva S.Aita!”

Furthermore, during this moment of worship, you can find typical sweets. The most famous are “casatedde di Sant’Aita” and “olivetti“. These sweets represent symbols of Saint’Agatha. Both made with marzipan.

The first sweet represents Sant’Aghata’s breasts, ’cause during the martyrdom they were removed, while olivetta represents the plant of olivo, that she found during the martyrdom to take refuge and nourish herself.


In conclusion, if you are in Catania you can’t miss this big festival, where faith and traditions wear the city and its inhabitants.


Saint Aghata festival Program February 2018:

Saturday 3rd February, h8.00pm:

Pyrotechnic and music show, at Duomo square.

Sunday, Monday 4-5 February:

At 5 am in the Cathedral starts the Mass after the exit of the Saint from her sacred cameretta. Brought by believers, Saint’Aghata exits from the church and starts the route around the city.

Don’t miss out:

  • Salita dei Cappuccini
  • Vespri
  • pyrotechnic show in Palestro square
  • descent along marina arches, à calata dà marina

Monday, Tuesday 5-6 February

In the morning of February 5th, she will come back to the church. After the Mass at around 6 pm, brought by believers, she will start the second rout around the city.

Don’t miss out:

  • pyrotechnic show in Borgo square;
  • Climb of San Giuliano street (acchianata di San Giuliano)
  • Canto of the Benedictine nuns.


In conclusion: do you need a transfer to reach your accommodation or Catania during Saint Aghata festival? Visit our website www.sicilydaybyday.com or contact us at 0039 3487133994!



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