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Historical and food festivals, in Palermo district, in Sicily


During Easter, in Terrasini, there is the Festival of the Schietti. Even if it coincides with Easter, it is not linked to religious traditions. “Li Schietti” are bachelors  that have to demonstrate strength and dexterity to conquer the woman they love, balancing on one hand an orange tree  weighing over 50 kg. The tree is decorated with ribbons and bells.


During Easter, in Prizzi, there’s the Dance of the Devils. On Easter morning two devils and the death go around the village making jokes to passersby, when the procession arrives in the village square, when the Virgin and the Risen Christ meet, the devils try to prevent it, wrestling with the angels escorting the statues. The fight takes place with precise movements that give rise to the Dance of the Devils. The angels will prevail and the meeting will proceed, symbolizing the victory of Good over Evil.

Devils of Prizzi photo Gabriele Lentini


In April, in Scillato, there is the Festival of Oranges and the oil festival, dedicated to two of the most famous and appreciated Sicilian food products. You can taste the oranges of Scillato, which are a typical blonde variety, which differs from the other products of the island. The oranges will be presented in many ways including cakes, juices, mousse, jams, tarts, cream puffs, and many other delicious recipes.


On the first Sunday of August in Gangi there’s the Feast of the Burgisi and the festival of the ear of wheat. The “Burgisi” are identified by the “bourgeois”, those who could afford bread. Wheat and bread are the protagonists of the festival that celebrates the abundance. There’s a long procession dedicated to Demeter, the mother of the wheat, the goddess of fertility,  which celebrates the ancient hope of a good harvest. Along the parade there are many actors and folk groups that create moments of joy with dancing and performances and the farmers who bring ancient tools. In addition to Demeter we can admire the actors dressed as Calliope, the goddess of poetry, Dionysus, god of wine, Apollo, the god of sun, Artemis, goddess of hunting.


In August, in Caccamo, there is the historical commemoration Castellana of Caccamo. For the occasion, a long procession in period costumes is organized with ladies, knights, soldiers, pages and other actors that bring the coats of arms of various families. The parade goes to the castle to take possession. The commemoration is linked to the election of Castellana, which ideally represents the town and is the landmark of the people. The keys of the town are given to Castellana. The long rule of the town started in 1094 to 1860 while the Castle of Caccamo was the protagonist of many alternations in the town government. The election of Castellana and the historical re-enactment began in 1968.

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