Santa Barbara and its celebration
18 November 2019

Santa Barbara and its celebration

Paternò in celebration for Santa Barbara

The 4th of December Santa Barbara is celebrated and in Paternò, a small town in the province of Catania, it is a day of great celebration! A party that begins on November the 3rd, the day during which with bombing and musical parades we start what is called “u misi di Santa Barbara“, the month dedicated to the Saint.

Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara

Origins of the feast of Santa Barbara

The cult of St. Barbara has very ancient origins: the first miracle of the saint is dated back to 1576, when the relics were taken by citizens to the hospital invoking the protection: the epidemic ended immediately. Santa Barbara was also invoked in 1780 during a lava eruption on Mount Etna: the relics were brought to Ragalna and the casting stopped. For this reason it is often invoked during storms and fires.

The feast in Paternò

The actual festival begins on December the 2nd, when the nine “candles” (or varettes, representing the city’s corporations) parade through the city and then meet in the evening in front of the church dedicated to the Patron Saint.
On December the 3rd the relics of the Saint are exhibited along the streets of Paternò, and the “Cantata” is performed.
On the 4th of December, the festivities come to an end: 21 shots fired from the Norman Castle start the procession of devotees who drag the ferrule with long ropes. Only late at night does he return to the church. On the 5th of December the procession winds along the streets of the northern area of Paternò.
Seven days later, on December 11, the reliquary bust is carried on the shoulders of the church: the city relies on its protector throughout the year.

Church of Santa Barbara in Paternò
church of Santa Barbara

How to reach Paternò

Paternò is not far from Catania, you can reach it by car or even by Circumetnea. If you do not have your car, but do not want to miss this party book your transfer service! We will accompany you aboard comfortable cars. Contact us!

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