Catania’s faithful engage in back-breaking activities to illustrate their devotion and honor their patroness, Sant’Agata, during these days of the feast. Through rituals, they emulate her suffering over three days of torture. Meanwhile, the “cittadini” also help each other and are kind and communicative with each other to get through the work. For example, to pull the extremely heavy fercolo through the city streets (to the left of these men, not in the photo) takes teams of people working together as a community.
This is what inspired me while I witnessed the feast in the first days of February 2016. There are no barriers, few police, no men on horseback or dogs… just a community working together and celebrating together.