Sicily is one of the most beautiful island in Europe: it has beautiful beaches, a crystal clear sea and amazing food that everyone loves. However, it has also a very strong culture and traditions that reflect in the many Sicilian traditional festivals that take place during the year. If you decide to spend your holiday in Sicily, you can find many Sicilian villas available for rent on sites online, and then read through to discover the top traditional festival you must see.

The year starts with the celebration of Saint Agata, one of the most important and honoured saint in Sicily, who is also the main patron of Catania. Agata was a young Christian girl from a very rich and noble family in Catania, who received and rejected the amorous advances of Quintianus, a Roman prefect. She was persecuted and tortured for her faith and devotion. The festival of Saint Agata takes place every 5th February to commemorate the martyrdom of this Catanian girl with processions, stalls and exhibits. During the procession, devoted people follow the wooden statue of the saint throughout the city, praying and singing in her honour, and then stops in the Cathedral for the mass. Outside, the square is crowded with people looking at fireworks and stopping by the stalls to buy some food or nice handmade items.

Right before the Easter season, it is time for Carnival, a very traditional and fun festival, celebrated all around the world, and also in many towns in Sicily. One of the best Carnivals on this island, and one you definitely do not want to miss, is the Carnival of Taormina, the beautiful medieval city perched on Mount Tauro, that attracts a lot of tourists and visitors every year. During these days, everything is permitted and it is all about fun, laughs and joy. There are parades with floats created by the citizens themselves, but also masks, confetti and prizes for the best wagons. People dance in the streets and kids sing along their favourite songs. The atmosphere is magic and you should let yourself be part of the celebrations to really understand what Carnival is for Sicilians. If you want to enjoy Carnival time in Taormina, you can check out Taormina apartments for rent online close to the historical center and enjoy the festival

In Italy, traditions are usually strongly connected to religion, so one of the top traditional festivals in Sicily is the “Ballo dei Diavoli”, the dance of the devils, in Prizzi, a very small village near Palermo. This dance is the representation of the constant struggle between good and bad and it holds back to a very ancient paganic tradition of the Middle Age. During the Holy Week, the week before Easter, some town residents dress up as demonic creatures with devil masks and dance in the streets. On Sunday, a rider on a horse, who is supposed to be Jesus, arrives in town and stops the dance, just like the good always triumphs over the evil.
Not only religion, but also history are the main inspiration for the main festivals in Sicily. In Piazza Armerina, on 14th and 15th August, there is the Palio dei Normanni, one of the oldest festival on the island that commemorates the return of the Count Ruggero d’Altavilla in town, after the end of the war against the Saracens in 1060. This event is getting bigger and bigger every year and it gathers visitors and tourists from many parts of Italy. During the commemoration, there are a lot of Medieval and Renaissance equestrian games and shows, but also processions and parades in costumes.

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