May 10 – Trecastagni (CT)
The Sant’Alfio festival in Trecastagni, in the province of Catania, the most characteristic and the most beautiful of the spring in the province of Etna, dates back to time immemorial, if you think that, after the martyrdom of the three brothers, took place in Lentini in 253 , almost immediately a votive icon was erected in the place of their passage here, where today the Sanctuary stands. However, he had a very particular impulse after, in 1516, the relics of the Three Saints were found in the monastery of the Basilian Fathers of St. Philip of Fragala (Me).
Twenty-one cannon hikes, fired in the morning by the Forte Mulino a Vento, begin the great event that lasts from 1 to 17 May. But before the cannon announces the beginning of the festival, it is possible to meet, along the roads leading to the village from every part of the province, the pilgrims who make the “journey” to S. Alfio and who go to Mass at 5.30.
On the afternoon of May 9th there will be the usual pyrotechnic show, a “competition” of fireworks among the members of the three “parties” of the festival – Sant’Alfio, Tondo and Collegiata. On the evening of the eve, 9 May, “holy night”, from Catania and the surrounding towns climb up to the Sanctuary of Trecastagni, on the slopes of Etna, many devoted pilgrims, “nuri” (nudes), often barefoot, carry a heavy votive “candle” on the shoulders, to offer to the saints. The various votive niches which, numerous, meet along the Etnean roads, on the other hand, can be read as “stations” of rest and rest, but perhaps more than meditation and prayer, along the pilgrims’ path to the various sanctuaries locals. The bells prolong, with the festive sound, the echo of the cannon salvos, and announce the opening of the sacred novena of preaching and prayer, which prepares, with a spiritual journey, the devotees and pilgrims, always numerous, to the meeting annual with “their” saints. The feast then comes alive as many faithful continue to come and “shout” their prayers.
During the festival there is the parade of typical Sicilian carts, with display of the different models of cart, built and adorned by our ancestors. The cart is no longer a vehicle for goods or passengers, but is often present at parties, as a celebration of itself. The octave of the festival, May 17, “closes” the festivities, but the Saints will remain unveiled until the first Sunday in June.
On the first Sunday of September we remember the passage of the SS.MM. Alfio Filadelfo and Cirino da Trecastagni.
Photo Author Federico Coco
For more information and program:
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