Palermo: sacred and profane meet in Santa Rosalia’s feast 2015

  • Published: 24 giugno 2015
  • Category: Events

Santa Rosalia’s feast 2015

It’s probably the most loved saint of the citizens of Palermo. And the feast in her honor  is one of the most awaited of the year. An event that will be repeated even in 2015. From July 10th to 15th, there will be the Santa Rosalia’s feast.


The origins of the feast

In 1624, Palermo was pestered by the plague. The city was saved by Santa Rosalia, who appeared in a dream of a soap-boiler. She told him where the remains were: if they had carried them in procession, Palermo would be free by the plague.

Her remains were  found in the cave she indicated. On July 15th, there was the first procession dedicated to Santa Rosalia. The plague ceased some days after.


The cathedral and Pellegrino mount

The statue of Santa Rosalia in front of the cathedral is really famous, statue that became the symbol of the city. And then there’s another statue in the sanctuary of Santa Rosalia, on Pellegrino mount, that is visited by observants during the days of the feast.


The feast

U fistinu, as the citizens of Palermo call Santa Rosalia feast, traditionally lasts five days, from July 10th to 15th. Five days where sacred meets profane and there are several other events.

The most important moment of “u fistinu” will obviously be the procession on July 14th, at night. The statue of the Saint, which is placed on a triumphal cart towed by oxen, will proceed along a path which is unchanged for centuries, that starts from Palazzo dei Normanni and ends to the sea, passing through Porta della Fenice. And, finally, the fireworks show along the seashore.

Sacred, profane, but also culinary traditions. During Santa Rosalia’s feast you can eat pasta with sardines, babbaluci, sfincione, boiled octopus, calia e simenza, boiled cobs and watermelon.


More information

If you want more information about the 2015 edition of Santa Rosalia’s feast (dates, schedule and times changes), you can visit the official site of the municipality of Palermo,


Image source: “0480 – Palermo – Santa Rosalia – Foto Giovanni Dall’Orto 28-Sept-2006” di G.dallorto – Self-published work by G.dallorto. Con licenza Attribution tramite Wikimedia Commons