The priceless silver statue of Santa Lucia (in the photograph pictured) will be processed through the streets of Ortigia on December 13, her feast day. Devotees wearing green caps and singing “Viva Santa Lucia” in a call-and-response fashion, will carry her sacred relics. This age-old devotion is rooted in the ancient Greek Persephone/Kore and Demeter myth, which came to life in the 4th century AD with the martyrdom of the beautiful Christian virgin Lucia. Finally, in 1646, during the time of Spanish domination of Sicily, citizens prayed to their patroness Lucia to give them relief from a severe famine that plagued Sicily. When relief came in the form of ships carrying wheat grain and other foodstuffs, the citizens of Ortigia hailed it a miracle, declaring that their prayers and devotion to their Santuzza where answered.
There is much tradition to la Festa di Santa Lucia. Check out experiencesicily.com and search for Santa Lucia to learn more.