Festivals and Traditions » Traditonnal Festivals

The Feast of Schietti so called “Alborata” has the charm of the pagan rituals related to the spring bloom of nature. On Holy Saturday, the bachelors of the town called “the Schietti” cut a bitter orange tree and decorate it with care. The morning after, every “Schietto” shows its strength under the window of their “zita,” (the girl chosen) lifting with one arm only the heavy shaft (50 kg). This is the way that the Terrasinesi presented their request for marriage: if the “zita”, impressed by the virility of the pretender, accepted, she did not have to do anything but tear a branch of the tree. The feast of Schietti is so popular that even the community of Terrasinesi of Detroit in the U.S. does not give up celebrating the Alborata with an orange tree sent from Florida.

It is an ancient ritual of agricultural abundance, performed in summer in sign of mercy and during the wedding procession that traditionally accompanied the bride to the new church. This dance still exists today in Petralia Sottana: during the week following the 15th August, a procession in traditional costumes invades the streets, led by a married couple and closed with 12 pairs of dancers. Around a pole from which hang ribbons (cords) couples dance to the rhythm of the tarantella, holding hands and interweaving the ribbons during the dance in order to create four separate figures representing the four seasons