The patron saint’s festivities are particularly cherished, joyful and lively in Salento
We all know that July and August are the months dedicated to holidays, sun, relaxation and fun, but they are also the months of the patron saint’s festivities, which are particularly cherished, joyful and lively here in Salento; an experience not to be missed. Today we have summarised a small calendar of the patron saint’s festivities that you can visit during your stay in Leuca which are a good reason to make a flying visit to the small, characteristic, residential centres of Salento.
The festivities begin with the celebration of the Madonna del Carmine of Presicce on 15th and 16th July. The festival is traditionally a large craft market, where you can admire and buy many local specialties and enjoy the unmissable procession and Mass, and in the evening, illuminated pop music concerts. On 17th July in Borgo, a small village with ancient traditions, the festival of Santa Maria, the beautiful saint, takes place. Those worshippers who suffer from jaundice bring coloured ribbons called “zigaredde” which, according to popular belief, can cure people of their illness if they rub them against the statue of the Saint.
Our imaginary journey continues with the festival of San Giovanni Elemosiniere in Morciano on 22nd and 23rd July, where among other things, the Cockaigne is organised; a large tree is planted on which lots of delicious snacks are hung at the top of the tree and young performers are challenged to climb the tree to reach the prize at the top. In Caprarica del Capo, a hamlet in Tricase, on 23rd and 24th July, we celebrate Sant’Andrea, the fisherman’s patron. The people thank the saint by processing all dressed in white.
Salve sees the turn of San Nicola Magno, celebrated on 28th and 29th July, while in Corsano two days later the festival for San Biagio is celebrated, the saint that came from the East, the protector of the animals, celebrated with the tale of his wonders by the bishop and the great fireworks and concerts in the square.
On 15th August (“Ferragosto”), in the heart of summer, finally the moment arrives for our festival, the festival of the Madonna de Finibus Terrae. The Virgin of Leuca, protector of the two seas, is celebrated with an striking procession of the boats at sea. From the Sanctuary, the statute of Our Lady is brought to the boat, accompanied by the band and many pilgrims, taking a tour of the sea with the tourists and the worshippers.
Our overview of the festivities ends with a special mention of the festival of San Rocco in Torrepaduli on 15th and 16th August. On this occasion, dancers and musicians form spontaneous groups and spend the whole night marching in the streets performing tricks in circles and the infamous “scherma” (fencing activity), a dance imitating the gestures of a duel, once performed with real swords.
There are so many festivals and it would be difficult to list them all, but we can assure you that every town and every village works hard all year to make the event the best it can be and there is nothing more passionate, more joyful or more original than a festival in Salento.