Cuccidati: Sicilian Christmas Cookies

Cuccidati, pictured, are traditional Sicilian cookies stuffed with dried fig filling. Associated with Christmas, both professional and home bakers make them, and some are more elaborately decorated than others. The filling is made with (This is a common recipe, but not all are exactly the same.) chopped dried figs, pumpkin jam, honey, raisins, almonds, orange…

Let’s Light Up These Dark Days on Sunday With Santa Lucia

At the dawn of the 4th century, practicing Christianity in the Roman-ruled city of Siracusa was illegal. Already though, inspired by nearby Catania’s Patron Saint, Sant’Agata, who lived just a few decades before (from 231 AD – 251 AD), the young and beautiful Lucia devoted herself to Christianity. In fact, she was known to enter…

Ancient Myths Light The Way

The legend of Santa Lucia starts before the early 4th century CE, when the maiden was killed by Roman soldiers for being Christian. Lucy’s story as we know it today starts with the ancient Greek divinities Demeter and Persephone. Demeter is the goddess of the grain, the harvest, and fertility. Persephone, Demeter’s daughter, is the…