In ancient Greek times in Sicily, especially in the eastern coastal cities such as Catania and Siracusa, extending to Enna, in the island’s center, Demeter and her daughter Persephone were venerated with fervor. Pictured here on this krater (a cistern used for mixing water with fermented grapes to make wine) from 425-400 BCE, now in the Museo Salinas in Palermo, the two deities talk with a bearded man. Over the centuries, the Christian church took much of the ancient symbolism of Demeter and Persephone and applied it to that of Santa Lucia.
Join me on Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. to celebrate the feast of Santa Lucia in New York City at Cacio e Vino. Tickets and details available now.