The feast of Blessed Virgin of Ognina
Today we are talking about one of the most heartfelt and participated festivals in Catania: the feast of the Blessed Virgin of Ognina in Catania, which is held every year on the 8th of September, in the district called “Ognina“, precisely where there is the church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.
On the occasion of this party the whole district lives a week of excitement; on the seafront is setup a market with stands full of objects of all kinds: handicrafts, food, toys and balloons. There are also theatrical and musical events, voluntary initiatives and festivals such as that of blue fish held on the Saturday and Sunday before the festival: in Piazza Ognina is prepared a large table where anyone can taste the fish of our sea!
The festival is then divided into two parts: the procession at sea and the procession through the streets of the neighborhood. On a small fishing boat is carried in procession the effigy of the Blessed Virgin followed by many boats decorated for festivity: from Aci Castello to the Central station under the eyes of the people of Catania who follow this moment with great devotion along the coast.
Equally evocative is the procession through the streets of neighborhood: placed on a “vara” the simulacrum of the Virgin is carried in procession in front of the house of the families that offer flowers as a sign of devotion or in exchange of a blessing.
The district of Ognina in Catania
Ognina is a fishing village on the border with Aci Castello: inhabited mainly by families of fishermen, it is one of the most characteristic districts of the city.
The name “Ognina” comes from “Lògnina” from the name of the river that flowed from the hill of Santa Sofia to the sea of Ognina, the Longane. Today the river has completely disappeared. The village is also linked to the myth of Ulysses: in fact in the Odyssey it is said that Ulysses chose the port of Ognina to land with his men during his travel to discover the sea and Sicilian lands. The view of the small port from the sea on board our sailboat during an excursion from Catania to Acitrezza is fascinating.
If you are visiting Catania and you want to eat good fresh fish we recommend you to spend just a few hours in this fishing village where you can not only buy just caught fish but you can also enjoy it in the excellent restaurants that you find in the streets of the neighborhood. Contact our partner Sicily Day By Day to book a transfer service to discover typical flavors and smells of Sicily!