22/26 July – Acireale
Baroque festival in honor of Santa Venera Virgin and Martyr, main patron of the City of Acireale (Catania) and of the Diocese. The Festival culminates with the “turns” of the Saint on the silver fercolo accompanied by the characteristic Candelore of the days 25 and 26 (solemnity of Santa Venera) through the streets of Acireale. The celebrations of Santa Venera start on the first Sunday of July with the exit between the streets of the city, of the four characteristic candelore. These are large and colorful engraved wooden candles, worn on the shoulders by skilled men representing the Arts and Crafts corporations (shoemakers, bakers, fishmongers, masons and craftsmen). Usually a lively orchestra accompanies the typical “annacata” dance (scotimento, shock, in Sicilian dialect) of the candelore to the rhythm of a festive musical march.
Walking through Acireale one comes across continual testimonies of Santa Venera who, according to what is said, preserved several times the town of which she is patron of Etna eruptions and limited the damage of the many earthquakes in the area, such as that of 1693 which almost destroyed completely Catania. Its baroque chapel in the Cathedral, built between 1658 and 1687, is decorated by the eighteenth century frescoes and the altarpiece by Antonio Filocamo; while in the sacristy there is the silver fercolo that parades in the procession of July 26, liturgical feast of the saint.
From the beginning of the festivities, on June 26th, we reach the climax with the Concerto delle Cantate in Santa Venera Patrona on July 24th, a unique concert that includes the execution of the most beautiful pages of the ancient Town Hall musical chapel, written in honor of Santa Venera by the most accredited Chapel Masters of the XVIII – XX centuries performed by the Music Chapel of the Venerable Royal Chapel of Santa Venera and July 26 with the Pontifical Solemn in the morning and the procession and evening sang of the hymn to the Patron Saint performed from the Musical Chapel of the Venerable Royal Chapel of Santa Venera together with some Chorales of the Diocese of Acireale.
The party ends at nightfall when an audience of people gathered in the square, greets the return of the patron saint in church and the joyous sound of the bells of the Duomo and the striking fireworks that color the sky acese
For more information: www.comune.acireale.ct.it