|April 4, 2010|
|9:00 am||to||11:00 pm|
A very popular celebration takes place in Terrasini (near Palermo) on Easter Day every year. It is called “La Festa di li Schietti” which means the celebration of the unmarried/singles. The main event of the “festa” is the tree-raising contest. The participants either single or married, must lift up an orange tree of more than 100 lbs. (about 50 Kg) and as tall as possible. It is not an easy task, in fact it takes strength and balance ability.
This tradition has very ancient origins, but it has been celebrated only since 1966. The event actually starts the day before, with the cutting of the best orange tree in the area and its decorating with ribbons and little bell-like ornaments. The day goes on with a folklorist picnic to which everyone is welcomed with some real treats: grilled sardines, sausage, lamb, wine, music, dancing and much more.
On Easter morning the tree is taken around the town and young men raise it below their fiance’s balcony to give a demonstration of their strength. In the afternoon the contest takes place. The music band plays to encourage the participants to resist as long as possible. The person, either single or married, that keeps the tree up for the longest time, is the winner. The entertainment goes on until late at night with music concerts in the beautiful illuminated square of Terrasini and spectacular fireworks.
|March 29, 2010 5:00 pm||to||April 4, 2010 10:00 pm|
Sicily is the richest Italian region in terms of festival, events and folk customs connected to the Holy Week. Among the most evocative and renowned religious manifestations of devotion are the mysteries of Trapani. Many other can be found between the Madonie and Nebrodi mountains, Palermo and Ragusa, making Easter time one of the most characteristic
periods of the year.
The union between sacred and secular is one of the most meaningful characteristics of Sicilian culture and Easter is undoubtedly one of the religious celebration that most accentuates this dualism. All over the island, in large towns and tiny villages alike, processions weave their way through narrow streets and squares: saints’ statues carried on the shoulders by those devoted become the main attraction, surrounded by lights, stalls with meat, fruit and sweets, in a mix of mysticism and religiosity. The Spanish and Jesuit inheritance of religious festivals has a long tradition in the ancestral pagan traditions that used to mark the arrival of the Spring, now incorporated into the religious festivities.
The mysteries in Trapani on Good Friday is undoubtedly one of the most ancient and evocative celebrations of the week preceding Easter. This feast, in which the townsmen carry statues through the streets, has Spanish origins and has been taking place for over 400 years. Each statue is made out of wood by the best Trapani’s artisans. One by one the statues represent the stations of the cross, and thousands of Sicilians line the streets awaiting the arrival of the Virgin Mary in search of her son. The mysteries tradition is not only celebrated in Trapani, but also in the close medieval village of Erice and in Marsala, where instead of the wooden statues there is a wonderful representation of the stations of the cross. These processions have kept intact the theatrical aspect of the performance as it was in Medieval time. There are many interesting events not to miss if you’re visiting Sicily during Easter time and want to taste the atmosphere of age-old traditions.
For more information to visit Sicily during Easter or other times, please visit www.dicasainsicilia.com
DiCasaInSicilia is the perfect partner for those who want to experience an unforgettable holiday in Sicily, with a wide selection of charming accommodations in or in the direct vicinity of the old town centers where some of the most beautiful Holy Week processions of the island take place.