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ANNUNCIATED FEAST THE SEPULCHERS
THE HOLY FRIDAY TYPICAL DISHES TYPICAL
The traditions, the uses and rituals
very old, the traditions, the uses, the rituals that the brontese people hand down
from generation to generation; tied
to the farming small world, to the seasons
following one another, to the hard work on the fields or to
For centuries the life of our small city has gone on to the
rhythm of seasonal cycles, with keeping in mind in every
period of the year, the correspondent phases of rural work:
these were dictating the time's rhythm and through these the
days, the seasons, the weather assumed a particular significance.
The so called "industrial era" has not altogether
broken yet the ancient seasonal rhythm, to put in its place
the mathematic clock time but many
traditions have gradually lost their original meaning.
At the end of the farming epoch and the prevailing of
technological society many habits,
some festivities or particular customs rest nowadays only in
the memory of our elders; others, as the years go
by and in our present frenetic life, are gradually
disappearing, substituted by modern rituals.
The majority of those that arrived to us, regard principally
the Church holidays, maybe just for the character profoundly
religious of the people of Bronte (Christmas, the rituals of
the Holy Week, the pretty small altars prepared in the small
streets of Bronte during the Corpus Domini, the
Ascension Day, the Annunciation Feast).
Of some our ancient tradition we want, in these pages,
remember them and try to present some aspects.
The traditional feast to the
"virginelli" is very old and is
tied to the hospitality and to the profound
religiosity of our people. The 19th of March,
holiday of San Giuseppe, many families, even
nowadays, prepare the banquet to the "virginelli"
(originally poor boys and girls of town, now only
relations and friends children of the neighborhood).
The number of the invited boys varies depending on the
votive offering expressed by the host or the economic
possibilities of the same.
Typical traditional banquet foods are a first course
of pasta with
chickpeas and a second of fried
salt cod and fennel
At the end are given oranges and some bread
to take home (a particular small loaf
of bread, marked on top with a cross).
Everything is blessed , beforehand, by a priest in front of a small
altar prepared in the house for the occasion, and then is distributed
to the guests and, in part, to relatives and neighbors who helped to
prepare the feast.
The gesture of the bread gift, a sacred food, has for
this people an important protective function of
solidarity, reciprocal affectivity and one of
the many ways to release themselves from vows.
Typical carnival tradition nowadays almost completely disappeared. The Thursday before Carnival (Thursday grass), boys, generally poor boys, dressed in rags and
blackened in the face with charcoal, with a spit
in their hands
used to go on the town streets, knocking to every door, followed by a crowd of other shouting
The idea was to beg for something to eat given to them
sticking pieces of meat, lard, cheese, bread and other food on the
Since the first years
of ‘900, at the Corpus Domini eve, the priests used to go in
procession, holding in their hands a broom with a cane’s handle. This ancient custom, nowadays completely gone and forgotten, meant
that the priests were humbly prepared to sweep the streets where the
day after the Eucharistic Host had to pass.