Religious feast in Catania – Festa di Sant'Agata

The religious festival in Catania is the most important Festa di Sant'Agata, lasting three days 3 to the 5 February.
In these days of celebration the city of Catania forgets everything to celebrate its patron saint.
The first day is devoted to the offers of Candlemas, candles high and heavy making a brief tour that leaves from the church furnace (San Biagio) to the Cathedral of Piazza Duomo, this event involved the major religious authorities, civilian and military.
Then two carriages eighteenth, that once they belonged to the Senate that ruled the city, and eleven “Candeloro”, big candles representative of the guilds or crafts, They are carried in procession, the gironata ends with a grand show fireworks in Piazza Duomo.
The 4 February is the day when the city meets for the first time the Patron, and Catania is populated from the early hours of dawn with devotees dressed in the traditional bag, a votive white linen shirts long to the ankle and tied at the waist with a cord, a black velvet cap, white gloves waving a white handkerchief also.
This traditional clothing is clothing that night wore when Catania, back in 1126, They ran towards the relics that Gisliberto and Goselmo reported from Constantinople.
To open the calcello where are the relics is S. Agata requires three keys guarded by three different people : the treasurer, the second the marshal, the third the Prior Chapter Cathedral.
When the bust came out of the Holy Bishop of the Cathedral celebrates “Mass at Dawn”, after this the procession.
The tour lasts all day and fercolo, Fine piece of silverware used to carry in procession the sacred relics of the Martyr is imbadito of red carnations symbolizing the blood shed and Santa being pulled by four or five thousand devotees, crossing places of martyrdom of Santa, until returning to Cathedral.
The 5 February the fercolo is laden with white carnations symbolizing the purity of Agata.
On this day in the late morning it is celebrated the pontifical and dusk begins the second part of the festival where fercolo goes around outside the city until rrivare via San Giuliano, who is representing a test of courage for citizens to the slope of the road.
Finally, the Santa arrives in Crociferi where the nuns devote an angelic song, last stop before returning to the cathedral.

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