Numerous traditional Sicilian religious festivals have a symbolism related to plant and human fruitfulness and to the return of life and abundance and they reveal a temporal connection with the productive cycles of the main agricultural products. Th ese symbolic and temporal connections are particularly evident in the case of votive banquets set up for Saint Joseph (March 19). Th e types and forms of foods prepared, performative moments that accompany the sacred meal, and the ritual actors who consume it (the Holy Family, the apostles, the virgineddi [small virgins], the vicchiareddi [little old men]) clearly refer to an agrarian-chthonic ideology typical to numerous Euro-Mediterranean peasant cultures. Moreover, the time when the festival is celebrated has an evident relationship with the spring and the germination of crops and refl ects the desire that this critical moment be protected by supernatural forces that, despite the surface Christian references, are rooted in chthonic beliefs connected to the aft erlife.
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|