“Il festivo,” which takes place in Palermo on the evening of July 14 in honor of Santa Rosalia, is a big street party that unifies the city’s citizens through a procession that symbolically purifies the metropolis from the evils that have long afflicted it. The events of the party are a mix of folklore, religion, street food, socializing, and cultural affairs such as art exhibitions and concerts. For days leading up to today, Palermo has been in feast mode, yet after lunch on July 14, is when the heart of the party starts: the center’s streets become designated for foot traffic only and Palermitani flood the piazzas and avenues to socialize and celebrate “La Santuzza.” The height of the evening each year is when the annually commissioned statue representing “la Santuzza” is marched in a triumphal chariot by the populous from the Cathedral to the port by way of Via Vittorio Emanuele II (the ancient street that locals call La Cassero, or u Càssaru, in Sicilian).
For me, since I am in New York this year, in honor of Santa Rosalia, I will adorn a pair of earrings I recently purchased in Palermo from my friends at Triscele ALAB (at Via Giovanni da Procida, 7) that feature an image of La Santuzza.
Chant with me, Viva Palermo e Viva Santa Rosalia!