Sicily — Festivals and Events
The heart and soul of Italy, Sicily comes alive throughout the year with arts, culture and festivities.
Many believe that the Romans gave birth to the original Carnival to honor the god Saturn in hope of achieving an abundant harvest. Thus it’s no surprise that Carnival is one of the most anticipated events of the year to enjoy parades, costumes, floats and feasts 40 days before Easter. The most elaborate party takes place in Acireale with confetti, foam, music and fireworks galore.
The Almond Blossom Festival
The first half of February celebrates the almond blossom festival (Sagra del Mandorlo) in the Valley of the Temples and city of Agrigento. Parades, shows, crafts and a beauty contest takes place welcoming spring with beautiful pink and white blossoms.
Saint Joseph’s Day
A Catholic event, March 19 is marked by feasts throughout Sicily with special pastries, breads, and dinners in honor of the Patron Saint who brought rain during a time of great drought.
The Friday before Easter is the most important religious holiday in Sicily. Celebrated with processionals and passion plays, the Eastern Rite ceremonies at Piana degli Albanesi are distinctly Orthodox with the Erice procession a highlight.
World Festival on the Beach
Held in late May, a week of sporting events and activities take place on Mondello Beach in Palermo. Enjoy windsurfing, volleyball, paragliding and sailing followed by races and a triathalon. A very popular event, booking accommodations in advance is highly recommended.
U Fistini Festival
For five days in mid-July, Palermo is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, St. Rosalia. Music, dancing and drinking are the main events, while relics are paraded through the streets of the capital.
Christmas in Catania
On December 25th, festivities featuring beautiful lights and musical displays are staged all over Sicily on Christmas Day.