Castelbuono’s main festival is in honour of their patron Sant’ Anna, which culminates in a huge procession of her reliquiry between the 17th - 27th of July. The festival lasts 3 days with popular events of various kinds: religious celebrations, streetlights, and so on. Another part of the festival is Italy’s oldest international running race (the first was in 1912) which is run through the town centre
Castelbuono has a busy annual calendar of cultural tourism filled with occasions not to be missed: opportunities to sample local food, summer concerts, craft, antique and collectors fairs, exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, as well as the artistic culture of the Madonie. The town also has seasons of choral music and theatre, jazz concerts and a programme of medieval theatre.
July, 2: SS. SALVATORE ALLA TORRE: Already the focus of the festival held to mark the Transfiguration, here he is celebrated with the attribution of the title SS. Salvatore alla Torre (“of the Tower”), known in dialect as Sarbaturi Nicu (Little Salvatore) or Sarbaturieddu (Salvatorello in Italian).
The Festa di Maria SS. Annunziata, co-patron of Geraci, is another predominantly religious festival with a highly emotive atmosphere. During the second Sunday of July the cloth of Mary’s Annunciation is carried in procession through the streets of Geraci’s historic town centre, with the participation not only of civil society, but also a huge congregation including faithful from other nearby towns. The 16th century ‘cloth’ comes from the Chiesa della Cava, and studies are underway to try and verify whether it is in fact an unknown work by Vasari.
From the 10-15 July S. Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo is celebrated. An aristocratic woman who became a hermit on Monte Pelegrino in the XIII century, the festival has ancient origins. In 1624 the plague hit Palermo and the finding of the bones of the saint coincided with the end of the dangerous illness. The grotto where the bones were found is now a place of pilgrimage. The statue of the saint is taken from the Cathedral and paraded through the city streets.
What is without doubt one of the most beautiful and suggestive events of the summer in Polizzi takes place on the third Sunday of July:the Festa della Neve (“Festival of Snow”). Organised by the local section of the Italian Alpine Club it is becoming increasingly popular with hundreds of people from all over Sicily. The objective of this guided excursion is the natural snow-field of the Fossa della Principessa (Princesses’ Gully) which even in the height of summer still has a notable block of snow. Once there, people try various flavours of granite (“slush puppies”) prepared in the traditional way (before the advent of refrigerators) with gathered snow; the tradition is thus pleasurably and instructively revived by the participants.
First Tuesday of July, the preceeding Sunday and Monday, and the following Sunday known as the “Ottava” (the Eighth). The actual pallet which contains the statue of the Saint dating back to the 17th century is carried around in procession by around forty of the faithful, some of whom have the job of regulating the skilled movement of the carriers with the chiacchi. The solemn festival falls on the first Tuesday of July and sees the participation of the confraternities of San Mauro Abate, of Santissimo Sacramento, and Santissimo Rosario, as well as of the religious and civic authorities; however, the procession of the Ottava is by far the most picturesque with its blessing of the fields and the distribution of the ears of wheat.
Madonna della Salute - Celebrated on the third week of July, the 4 day festive programme includes procession, games for children, music by local groups, dancing and free food prepare by the local community.
Nightly programme changes but the Progression is always on the Sunday the last day of the festivities