24th June of every year it celebrates to Acitrezza the patron of the place:
S. John the Baptist. At 8 o' clock, the band, with its entry in the town,
gives the start of the festivity of the Saint who christened Jesus.
To the continuation of the band, there are many children with red and
yellow scarfs in honour of the Saint. While people are
assembled in the main public square, the faithfuls are getting inside the
already full church. The band stops in front of the church
and the fireworks are already heard that mean the start of the Mass and
the revealed of the wooden statue of S.John. The Mass begins, the words of the parish priest are
only heard. Then: boom, boom…… incessant fireworks, yellow and red
scarfs waving and: “diciamolo
tutti con tutto il cuore”, and
the crowd of faithful says: “EVVIVA SAN GIOVANNI”. The
sparkling statue full of gold that has been donated from the
faithful, is revealed. The band plays joyful songs while the women dressed
of red, with a yellow rope like belt, come down the stairs of the church.
The statue remains exposed on the altar of the church to permit to
everyone to see it and say a prayer. In the afternoon, there is the pantomime
of the “U’ PISCI A MARI”, performed inside the port of Acitrezza.
When the representation is finished, the acts go to have a shower and then
bells begin to toll and the public square "G. Verga" in front of the church
is full of faithfuls. The tolling is incessant, the
church nearly bursts because is very busy. While the “vara”: the building that will carry for the
streets of Acitrezza the saint who has been placed in front of the stairs of the church. The fireworks are
loud. Scarves waving in
the air at the coming out of S. John from the church. Placed on the
“vara”, adorned with multicoloured flowers, accompanied by band, it begins its tour for the roads of the south of the
town. The toll of the priest's little bell means the stop
of the "vara" to allow to the faithful to give a gift and to kiss the statue of
S. John. While the “vara” is going around thetown, it arrives to the “calata dell’angelo” (the descent of the angel): an angel,
tied up to a special wire, keep in his hand some money, collected by the
faithful, comes down slowly from the sky to reach the statue of the saint,
the band plays joyful notes and the “vara” leaves again. While
Acitrezza is full of artistic illumination, people begin to
newly fill up the church waiting for the back of the saint to the church.
On the main street, two wings of crowd have been already formed to wait
the back of the “vara”. The Saint
under the artistic lights is more sparkling than never, left the building,
he begins slowly the back towards the high altar. Then
everybody goes on seafront to see the closing fireworks. The first day of
festivity is finished, but from the first hours of the following morning, fireworks
give the alarm clock to the inhabitants. In the
afternoon the “vara” with S. John inside goes around the northern streets of
Acitrezza. The evening is coming, inside the church is impossible to enter because there are many people who cram it.
The bells begin to toll, the “vara” is already close to the church.
Lots of scarfs receive the coming out of the saint from the
church: "EVVIVA SAN GIOVANNI" is the sound that is spread in the
church with the noise of fireworks. Slowly, the statue goes back to the
high altar, the two small doors that they close the statue until the next year and they begin their slow movement.
People, tired, by the warmth and the end of the festivity, begin
to cry for the wooden statue that comes to close it in the high altar. Nobody
stops the hands moving the yellow and red scarfs. Suddenly the small doors of the high altar are closed.
The festivity for this year is ended, people see the fireworks that
light up the sky over the “Faraglioni”, while the “vara” returns
to the “casa della vara” (Vara’s Home).