December

CEFALU:

 

December, 8: L’ IMMACOLATA

The Immaculate, who has been another Patron of the city since 1954, is the protagonist of this religious festival characterized by an imposing procession following a representation of the Virgin Mary.

 

December, 13: S. LUCIA

This is the festival in memory of a miracle linked to the saint. It is said that in 1645 the Master Shoemaker Vincenzo Combi stayed late for work, and thus disrespected the abstinence from work one undertakes in respect of St. Lucia. It seems that as the shoemaker was punching holes in the sole of a shoe with his awl three drops of blood dripped from one of the holes.

The shoe mentioned above is preserved in the Church of S. Lucia and it is possible to see it during the Masses celebrated there every 13th of December (the Church can be found within the boundaries of the Club Med, and the Management allows the public to witness the display of the reliquiary via access from a path leading from the end of the seafront road G. Giardina).

 

December, 24-25: CHRISTMAS

During the Christmas period, other than the usual (but always splendid) Christmas lights, nativity scenes, decorations and events, Cefalù offers an incredibly ancient historical tradition: this is the Ninnariedda, a kind of Christmas carol performed in the city’s streets.

 Amongst the typical foods are the unmissable catuobisi biscuits of pastry filled with dried fruit.

 

December, 31: S. SILVESTRO    

New Year’s Eve is dedicated to children.

The evening’s protagonist is the Vecchia Strina, a shrivelled and toothless old hag who according to tradition comes down from the Rocca where she lives, and goes and distributes gifts to children. Whilst the old woman gives out her sweets, a dense crowd follows her around the city’s streets by the light of lanterns.

 

 

GRATTERI:


There is also the traditional display of the "Vecchia" (the “Old Woman”) on the 31st of December. Seated on the back of a donkey the “old woman”, accompanied by  children dressed in traditional costumes and with flaming torches in their hands, distributes gifts to children throughout the streets of the town. The party that follows brings everyone together for New Year’s Eve in the square, and generally hosts everything from performances of juggling, popular dances, and tastings, to concerts.