In Palazzolo Acreide, in the province of Siracusa, this weekend is patronal feast. Since 1600 in fact, this village celebrates St. Paul, considered by the farming community healer of snake, scorpion and tarantula bites, but also a propitiator of good harvest. The cult of the saint begins on the eve (Friday, June 28th) with the “Svelata” (the unveiling) of the statue and “A sciuta ra cammira” (the exit from the room), hailed by the cries of emotion and joy of the devotees, making the atmosphere very impressive. The next day the village comes to life and villagers make their offerings, especially the lavender, also called “a spica ri San Paulu” (St. Paul’s Spike) and the “cuddure” (loaves of bread decorated with snakes) which are blessed and auctioned in the Churchyard. At 13, everything is ready for the “Sciuta” (the Exit). The saint, after Mass, comes out of the church, carried on the shoulders of the devotees. Greeted by spectacular fireworks and the typical “nzareddi” (strips of colored paper with the inscription Viva San Paolo), it is carried in procession through the streets of the village. Along the way, it is tradition to show the baby naked, in sign of protection or for having received a grace.
Take advantage of this feast to discover Palazzolo Acreide, UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Baroque architecture, famous for its many churches, its rural traditions and good food.
Svelata St. Paul’s
Sciuta St. Paul’s
You can have a look at the Feast Program on the devotees website