In Sicily, there is a festival for everything. Well, almost. The whole year, you will find the provinces busy preparing for a celebration of something. The reasons are varied and they could range from the patron saint to the local produce. From January to December, any traveler is sure to find some cause for celebration, so when you think it’s off season and there would be no need to reserve for lodgings, you might suddenly find yourself in the middle of a festival with all the accommodations taken up. Better book ahead for holiday apartments in Sicily because for sure lodgings will immediately fill up and make the necessary reservations before flying to the island.
Summer is probably the time when people go in droves towards Sicily, especially because it’s the perfect place to beat the heat. At the same time, one can be present to experience some of the countless festivals held each year. In Palermo, you must see the Festa di Santa Rosalia. This is in honor of the community’s patron saint; therefore, it is the most important one. Actually, there are two feasts in her honor: the Festino which happens from July 13th-15th and the festival celebrated on September 3-4. The Festino is considered a major public and religious affair that there are fireworks, music, food, and wine plus a theatrical production while the one in September shows the tradition of walking barefoot to Mount Pellegrino from Palermo.
The Palio dei Normani that runs from August 14-15 is something not to miss as well. This is one of Sicily’s oldest events. Here, you will be taken back in time during the Medieval and Renaissance periods through equestrian games and shows. You will also enjoy the costumed parades that reflect the culture of those times. Participants compete with each other to display horsemanship and knightly prowess as how it was during the victory of the Normans over the Arabs. There is also music and dancing as well as colorful spectacles.
As everyone who has made a vacation in Sicily will agree, the food is definitely divine. There is so much to taste, so much to learn. So if you want to experience an explosion of flavours, the Couscous Festival is the thing for you. Because of the Arab influences left in this island, the cuisine has markings of this culture. This is one of Sicily’s most popular festivals as international chefs will be in attendance to participate in a highly competitive cook-off. You will have ample chances for sampling all the gastronomic dishes of North Africa. There will be an air of carnival during the celebration, with live music and dances during the last week of September.
Time your Sicilian holiday when there are festivals being celebrated to add up to the excitement and experience you will have. It will be an occasion to remember, a time to really experience Sicilian traditions and customs.