December 8, 1934

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which marks the beginning of the Christmas holidays. Every year on this day, the feast is celebrated in the Church of Saint Francis, also called the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

In front of the church there was a long line of market stalls. They sold lupines, bilberries, and another tasty fruit called holy oil. In the square, which we citizens of Enna call Saint Francis Square, even though its real name is Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, the city band played their wind instruments, drums, and cymbals nonstop. Then a litter with the statue of the Virgin Mary on it came out of the church. At least fifty brethren dressed in white robes and blue mantillas bore the heavy litter on their shoulders. The city band followed the litter, and we got into the procession behind the band.

The number of processions during the year in Enna is considerable. Every quarter has its own patron saint, who is taken in procession along the streets on the day of his or her feast.

When the procession was over, my mother bought four small paper bags of lupines, one for each of us.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

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