March the 19th, feast of the
The feast of March the 19th
is dedicated to Saint Joseph, the patron of the island. It is
deeply felt by the islanders, who have kept intact the worship
of the Saint. The feast represents the rescue from evil's forces
and propitiates fishing abundance and family peace.
Some days before the feast you can visit the houses where the
inhabitants prepare and decorate the altars dedicated to the saint,
while the evening of the 18th , for the "Adduminaria"(in
Italian "Luminaria", "Luminations"), three
big bonfires are set up in honour of Jesus, Joseph and Mary.
In the morning of the 19th all the people who have made a vow
to Saint Joseph prepare and offer the traditional lunch, full
of all sorts of delicious food. Everybody is invited, and really
everybody: for who cannot leave their houses, the lunch is taken
Dinner too is always very rich. It is offered to three paupers
of the island, representing the Holy Family: a lot of bread is
distributed as a symbol of the glorification of work and poverty,
since Saint Joseph himself was poor and protected the poor.
For the occasion many artists arrive at Marettimo and improvise
folk shows in the square and all over the main streets of the
village, where the celebrations go on for three days among traditional
religious rituals, games, singing and musical shows.
August the 15th, procession
of the boats
Every year during the Assumption Day you can admire the procession
of the boats parading long by the seaside. The biggest boat, decorated
for the feast, transports the statue of the Madonnina del Rotolo,
preserved all the year long in a little chapel far from
the village. At the end of the procession the priest celebrates
a solemn mass.
The celebrations begin in the evening of the 14th at the Scalo
di Mezzo, where all the fish that the seamen have been able to
catch (more than once they arrived at 700 kilos!) is cooked and
offered in honour of the Madonnina to all the present guests in
the island, followed by an excellent wine tapped for the occasion.