The symbols of the feast of St. Agatha
Soon, walking through the streets of Catania, it will be easy to meet a “candelora“: large votive candles representing different categories of arts and crafts that walk and “dance” through the streets of the city following the music of the band that accompanies them. Each of them has a history and details that distinguish them, let’s see some of them!
The folklore of the feast of St. Agatha
The feast of the Patron Saint of Catania is the third most important religious feast in the world, it brings together thousands of faithful but also curious, people united by faith but also simple visitors moved by the desire to live in person that folklore of which many speak. Because if first of all the feast of St. Agatha is moved by the faith of its devotees, another characteristic that distinguishes it is the folklore that gives it life.
The candelore are one of the main elements of Sicilian folklore: in 1514 they were 22, they became 28 in 1674 until they remained 13 at the beginning of the 20th century. Today there are 13 candelore, each one representing a category of arts and crafts: in the days before the 5th of February they brighten up the streets of Catania with their music and their typical “annacata” (sinuous movement to the sound of music) while during the main days of the festival, 3,4 and 5 February, they parade silently opening the religious procession following the following order: the parade opens with the smallest candlemas, dedicated to Monsignor Ventimiglia, followed by the candelora of the Rinoti (people living in the district of San Giuseppe La Rena), florists (Fiorai), fishmongers (Pescivendoli), fruit sellers (Fruttivendoli),meat butchers (Macellai), pasta makers (Pastai), food sellers (Pizzicagnoli), wine bakers (Bettolieri), bakers (Panettieri), master craftsmen (Maestri Artigiani), the Town Club of Sant’Agata and finally the Village of Sant’Agata (another district of the city)
A candelora weigh between 400 and 900 kg and they are carried by a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 12 men. The heaviest candelora is that of the Bakers, while the candelora of the Fishmongers is called the “Bersagliera”, the candelora of the Master Craftsmen is instead the latest arrival.
If you want to see in person a party animated by the presence of a candelora do not miss the feast of St. Sebastian day January 20: the party will be held in Piazza Federico II of Swabia right where our office is located and you can take advantage of it to let us visit and book the tour suitable for your needs choosing between a cultural tour or a visit to volcano Etna! We are waiting for you!