St. Joseph’s day in Sicily: faith, tradition and food!
St. Joseph is for sure among the most beloved celebrations for Sicilians. The feast of St. Joseph in Sicily is a moment to celebrate together with friends and family, between faith, tradition ,and of course good food. This date represents a moment of rebirth and awakening from the torpor of winter, since March 19th coincides also with the spring equinox.
The first celebrations date back to 1400 then, after that, in the early 1600s, St. Joseph feast appeared in the universal Roman calendar and until 1977 it was included in the national religious holidays. In Sicily there are many people who are called Giuseppe and Giuseppina (Joseph and Josephine), with their derivatives and many will remember, in the homes of their grandparents, paintings, prints or statues depicting the saint with the baby Jesus in his arms.
San Giuseppe has become a symbol of family, honesty, humility and love for simple things. Maybe that’s also why he is so loved in Sicily. Considered protector of the poor, he is a craftsman and protector of the carpenters, who are particularly devoted to him.
In different areas of the island the so-called “tavolate” are held, in relation to the fact that St. Joseph has also been identified as the protector of the most needy. Many families collaborate to prepare a rich communal banquet, as a symbol of abundance and to feed the poor. In some villages, the poor are invited into their homes or traditional performances are organized, with the characters playing the role of the Holy Family.
Typical food to celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph
There are so many traditional dishes. But the most famous of all, known all over the world, are the sfince, a rich and sumptuous dessert, filled with ricotta cream – you can find our recipe here. Also, very important is the bread of St. Joseph, a round loaf, engraved with a cross on the surface, with fennel seeds alongside another typical dish, the minestrone di San Giuseppe: it is a soup of pasta, legumes and vegetables that was traditionally prepared in large pots and then distributed on large tables.
But how could we forget about the most famous pasta in the world? Yes, Pasta con le Sarde is another typical pasta that is usually made to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, and guess what, you can find our recipe here!
Don’t forget to celebrate with a plate of Pasta con le sarde!