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Syracuse: The Celebration of Saint Lucy between Miracles and Doves

Each year, Syracuse comes alive to celebrate its patron saint, Saint Lucy, with two separate festivals: the Feast of the Patronage of Saint Lucy in May and the Feast of Saint Lucy in December. Both celebrations are rich in history, tradition and folklore, and attract visitors from all corners of the world.

Experience the magic of the Celebration of Saint Lucy in Syracuse by staying at the Hotel Algilà, in the heart of Ortigia just a short walk from the cathedral and the procession: discover our rooms. Be enchanted by the evocative atmosphere and enjoy an unforgettable stay.

Vivi la Festa di Santa Lucia a Siracusa
Experience the Feast of Saint Lucy in Syracuse

The Feast of the Patronage of Saint Lucy: a miracle and a dove

The Feast of the Patronage of Saint Lucy, also known as "Santa Lucia re quagghie" (Saint Lucy of the Pigeons in Syracuse dialect), takes place on the first and second Sundays of May. It commemorates the miraculous event of 1646, when a terrible famine plagued Syracuse. According to legend, a dove entered the cathedral bringing news of the imminent arrival of ships loaded with grain, saving the city from starvation. Since that day, doves have become the symbol of this celebration.

The celebrations and the procession

The celebrations begin on Friday with the opening of the niche that holds the simulacrum of the Saint. On Saturday, the simulacrum is moved from the chapel to the Cathedral's high altar, where a solemn Eucharistic Mass is held on Sunday. At 12 noon, the simulacrum leaves the square and winds its way in procession to the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, during which the traditional throwing of quails, or characteristic dove-shaped sweets, takes place.

The Octave of Saint Lucia: a historic and evocative route

The Octave of Saint Lucy, which takes place the week following the Feast of the Patron, culminates with an evening procession of the simulacrum of the patron saint. The procession passes through the historic center of Ortigia, the ancient heart of Syracuse, in an evocative atmosphere lit by candles and torches.

An event for all

The Feast of Saint Lucy in Syracuse is an event open to everyone, believers and non-believers alike. It is an opportunity to immerse oneself in Sicilian culture and traditions, attend solemn religious rites and admire the city's Baroque beauty. Participation in the processions and celebrations provides a unique experience of deep spirituality.

Additional Information:

  • Dates: The Feast of the Patronage of Saint Lucy takes place on the first and second Sundays of May, while the Feast of Saint Lucy is celebrated on December 13.

  • Information: For more information on the Feast of Saint Lucy, you can contact the Tourist Information Office of the City of Syracuse or consult the official website.


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