Probably the most distinct ritual of Saint Joseph’s Day, which is celebrated annually on March 19, revolves around the celebration of bread, which in Sicily and southern Italy is sacred because wheat, its principle ingredient, is the most important crop of the region. The preparation of altars, or tables, known as le tavolate di San Giuseppe (or a Tavulatu di San Giuseppe in Sicilian), are the most remarkable tribute to Saint Joseph, the patron of fathers, fatherhood, carpenters, and those who toil for their work.
The altars, which are made for homes and also public meeting places, are an act of prayer. They represent thanksgiving for the mercy and generosity the Saint has granted to their families and friends, and they are a grand display of local specialties and sweets augmented with citrus fruits, vegetables, wine, candles, pictures of the Saint and deceased loved ones, and plant elements such as nuts, seeds, beans, flowers, and laurel leaves.
Join me on Sunday, March 8 at 2pm in New York City to make bread following this ancient tradition. Details and reserve your spot at https://experiencesicily.com/saint-josephs-day-in-new-york-city/