There is not only Halloween to celebrate in this period of the year! In fact, if you booked a luxury villa in Sicily recently, you will be able to know a traditional Christian feast and how Sicilians celebrate it: we are deal with Festa dei Morti, translated: Dead persons’ Feast. Yes, the name doesn’t bode well but it’s not as you probably imagine. In fact, despite the argument, this event is not a sad one, on the contrary, it is a way to remember loved ones in serenety and at the same time a way to teach to the children to not be afraid of death.
The feast is celebrated on November the 2nd and dated back to the X century, in fact the legend said that, in the past, during the night before, dead people visit their relatives and leave a gift for the children. Today, parents buy the gifts and tell to their kids that dead relatives gave away and hid them, so children have to search throughout the house to find those presents; the perfect way to have fun and to teach to the children to not be afraid of death. After this sort of “treasure hunt”, the traditional next step is to go to the cemetry and visit their loved ones.
During this day, around Sicily you will be able to find many village festivals with music, colours and, of course, a lot of typical Sicilian food. In this period, Sicilians used to eat many type of traditional sweets like Frutta Martonara, Pupa di Zucchero, Ossa dei Morti, Canestro and many other ones; if you prefer salted food but you don’t want to betray the traditions, you can taste the Muffoletta, a typical soft bread seasoned with Sicilian oil, tomatoes and typical cheese: simple but very tasty.
This year, as always, there are a lot of village festivals to discover. Here some tips:
- Notte di Zucchero a Palermo: “Sugar night in Palermo”, big popular feast focused to the traditions of Festa dei Morti in Sicily. Palermo, October the 30th / November the 2nd;
- Festa dell’Iris e dell’Arancina a Tremestieri Etneo: traditional event with food and sweets expositions. Tremestiere Etneo, October the 31th / November the 3rd;
- Sagra della Vastedda a Capaci: yearly village festival full of typical foods where Vastedda is the main charachter. Capaci, November the 1st;
- Notte di Zucchero a Catania: “Sugar night in Catania”, children’s party when kids can play while learning the Sicilian tradition. Catania, November the 2nd;
- Sagra dei dolci tipici dei Morti a Pedara, Catania: village festival with Sicilian sweet.