The feast of St. Philip – Aidone May 1st
VisitingAidone onMay1st, means participating in one of the most evocative and engaging moments of the city.The feast of the StPhilip begins on the 30th ofApril,the eve,when the town is filled with kiosks and street vendors and pilgrims from all over.

 

The church stays open all night allowing the first pilgrims who arrive, to enter and pray.  Every first of May, in fact, Aidone becomes the destination of various pilgrimages that come from about 50 Sicilian cities: many devoted people travel on foot asking for blessings or thanks or even forgiveness.   According to their tradition, they appear in front of the statue of St.Philip with a lit candle.  Furthermore, the pilgrims carry the so-called  “Zagareddi” with them, stripes of multi-colored fabrics that are rubbed on the statue of the Saint that become proof of their devotion.  The first evidence of pilgrimages date back to 1633, the year that the Reliquary was blessed. The reason behind this immense physical effort is the widespread love of many Sicilians towards this Saint.  On May 1st at noon, after the bishop’s Mass, the statue of St. Philip the Colored Apostle, safeguarded  with the silver reliquary inside the Church of Santa Maria La Cava, with its sharp and bright colors, is carried in a procession.  The color blue, red, black, green and silver, are the colors of the coat of arms of the city of Aidone, which is one of the oldest cities in Sicily.  In the town closest to ancient Morgantina, reference to ancient divinities, goes so far as to suggest a similarity between the statue of the Saint and Hades or Zeus.  Looking carefully at the statue, recently restored, you can see that the face of St. Philip is very similar to that depicted on a silver coin of Morgantina dating back to 213-211 BC in which Zeus is portrayed. The passion and devotion are still today overwhelming and the May 1st  procession reveals all its strength.

It is recommended to take advantage of the visit to the city for a walking tour, to enjoy a savoury lunch and overnight at one of the excellent hotels  indicated, so that you can dedicate the following day visiting the archaeological site of Morgantina or to nearby Piazza Armerina or to the multiple activities offered.

We recommend that you contact the Pro Loco di Aidone (Via Mazzini 1- prolocoaidone@virgilio.it – Tel: 333 1791293).

Finally, it is reccommended to participate in the celebration of the Feast of Mary SS. of Piazza Vecchia held on May 3, in honor of the patron Mother of Victories  in Piazza Armerina.

 

Discover  a wide range of cultural, naturalistic, archaeological/historical itineraries, tasting itineraries, celebrations and town feasts as well as the experiential itineraries of the Dea of Morgantina Tourist District. 


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