Sicily Calendar of Events in January

The Sicily Calendar of Events in January covers New Year celebrations as well as other religious practices in the island. We have also included the feasts and food festivals during this month.

Festivals and Events in Sicily

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Sicily Calendar of Events in January

Ready for your trip to Sicily in January? It is winter on the island during this time. The weather is quite mild so do not expect snowy cold. Unless of course, if you are hiking our beautiful mountains. Make sure to prepare proper gears. Generally, bring winter clothes but do not overdo it. Just enough to keep yourself warm. Do not let the cold hinder you from exploring. If you are from a colder country, Sicily Winter is nothing at all. We suggest walking historical sites. Get a coffee at the bar every now and then. Bars are Italian coffee shops, and they are everywhere. We have also organised a calendar of events for January. Please feel free to use them as a reference to discovering more beautiful places in Sicily.

Capodanno (New Year in Sicily) – January 1st

Spend the first day of the year in Sicily. Start with a unique New Year’s Eve experience accordingly. Either join the crowd in the main piazzas with free concert events or dine in with Italian families. Enjoy remembering this unforgettable memory.

Celebration of the Epiphany of the Byzantine Rite – January 6th

Italians are mostly Christians, including Sicily. Significantly, Italy has 80% of the population belonging to the Roman Catholic faith. On this occasion, we are reminded of the symbolic baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. Therefore, Epiphany is a sacred festivity for Catholics. In Sicily, the celebration particularly takes place at Piana DegliAlbanesi in Greek ceremony.

Epiphany Fairs on major Sicilian cities – January 6th

Aside from going to church, major cities also hold Epiphany fairs. Similarly, we call them Il Mercatino dell’Epifania,an important event on every 6th of January. The street markets showcase the most stunning of its kind together with a few food stalls. There is undoubtedly a wide selection of items. Shop while enjoying the magnificent view of the major squares or town centres

Ancient Three Kings Celebration in Cassaro Syracuse

The Tre Re sulla via dell’Olio in Cassaro is on January 5th or 6th. Cassaro is comparatively a Middle Ages village in the province of Syracuse. Three kings celebration is an annual ancient tradition. Simultaneously, on the same date as Epiphany. It presents the myth of the three wise men by all means. Following the myth, Melchiorre, Baldassarre and Gaspare found and visited the newborn Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The village also organizes food and wine tasting events introducing authentic Hyblaean cuisines.

Epiphany’s farmer and degustation event in Bolognetta Palermo

Epifania Nella Bolognetta Contadina is on January 6th. Bolognetta is a town in Palermo province. It also celebrates the Epiphany with native farmer produce. There is a degustation event too. Hence, visitors can taste Bolognetta’s agricultural and other natural products. These include cheeses such as ricotta, chickpeas and beans, local-made bread, honey, and salumi.

Shepperd Life of Nardu in Santa Elisabetta Agrigento

Pastorale di Nardu a Santa Elisabetta is every January 6th. The event is probably without a doubt the most Sicilian way of celebrating Epiphany. It is a street comical and satirical presentation of old pastoral life. At the same time, it depicts work in the fields with donkeys, horses and sheeps included in the parade. The story revolves around the simple-minded Nardu and how he found the holy family of Jesus before the three kings.

Christian processions in Sicily

Both residents and visitors of the local parish observed traditional Christian procession too. In case you happen to be in the area of any small villages, we suggest joining. Walking with the locals in solemnity regardless of belief is a unique experience. A grand Epiphany ceremony in Sicily is the Presepe artistico U Ritu a Palma di Montechiaro in Agrigento. Another one is Processione dell’Epifania del Signore a Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto in Messina.

Presepe Vivente (Re-enactment of the Living Nativity)

  • Epiphany in Bolognetta contadina
  • Nardu’s Pastoral Life in Santa Elisabetta
  • Holy Epiphany Procession in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto
  • Epiphany in Piana degli Albanesi
  • Epiphany and Ricotta Festival in Sant’Angelo Muxaro

The Calendar of Events in Sicily in January also involves the Presepe Vivente. It is a Christian tradition re-enacting the living nativity of Jesus as well as the story of his birth. During this time, all of Italy commemorates this event. To illustrate the event, participants dressed in ancient costumes. It is common in countryside villages or mountain areas where residents join altogether. The town of Calascibetta is in central Sicily. It performs a really breathtaking representation of this event around January 4th and 5th.

Festa della Befana (various locations)  – January 6th

Music and women dressing as Christmas Witches (La Befana) greet the arrival of the Three Wise Men. Children receive sweet treats inside a sock from adults. If they are nice (bravi), they are in for a special treat. Otherwise, coal for the naughty ones(monelli). You can find charcoal candies in many stores here.

For women, men jokingly greet them ‘Auguri’ during the Christmas Witches Day. Please do not try this as it is quite offensive for some. It is not the word Auguri but the joke behind it comparing them to witches.

Sagre in Gennaio or Sicilian January Festivals

A Sagra is a celebration or festival. It can be of anything valuable in a particular urban village. It ranges from days honouring their patron saints coupled with Sicilian cuisines and fresh produce presentation. There are fruits, nuts, wine, and more foods. The locals call it Sagre Paesane. It is in every corner of Sicily. A really great chance to get to know more about the colour and character of a village. Here is the list of Sagre and Saint Feast days for January, keep warm while enjoying the experience!

Red Orange Festival in Francfonte, Syracuse

Sagra del Tarocco a Francofonte – January 4th or 6th

Black Pig Festival in Longi, Messina

Sagra del Suino nero a Longi- January 5th

Sagra della Sfincia a Montelepre on January 6th

Sfincia is a poor man’s dessert and a typical Sicilian delicacy. It is sweet and fried. Sicilian bakers prepared it with a mixture of milk, water and flour. After frying, sugar together with cinnamon is added. The shape and cooking method are normally different in each village. Montelepre in Palermo takes pride in the deliciousness of their sfinci. Many travellers visit the place just to have a taste of it.

Porchetta Festival in Belpasso, Catania

Sagra della Porchetta a Belpasso – January 13th. The Italian roasted pork, porchetta originated from Rome but Sicily added its southern flavours.

Maiorchino Cheese Marathon and Festival in Novara di Sicilia in Messina

Sagra del Maiorchino in Novara di Sicilia is every January 27th. This is a one of a kind tournament. The cylindrical Maiorchino pecorino cheese wheeled as a competing object. They roll in the narrow streets of the village. Spectators can bet which cheese will win as the host reported the movements of the cheese wheels. As any festivals, there is a food and wine tasting at this festival too. You are in a gastronomic delight from cheese, sausage sauces and many other local products.

Sagra della Focaccetta a Messina

In honour of Saint Sebastian, the small village of Santa Margherita in Messina prepare a lively food festival. It involves food, music and dancing. They have the traditional Italian pastry called focaccetta and other tasty cuisines. You can sample their macaroni with locally made pork sausage(salsiccia). Porchetta panini, and crepes are present too. There is local produce such as wine, orange juice and more.

Sagra di Sant’Antonio a Santo Stefano Medio

The festival is a two-day celebration for Saint Anthony. The residents gathered for local food, history and traditions. They assembled from the church to the village square in a procession. It is to pay tribute to their patron saint. Bonfire exhibition and fireworks display followed. It is also a night of authentic Sicilian flavours.

Saint Feast Day for January

There are Feast Day of other saints in January too. You can experience them in various Sicilian villages. For example, Saint Anthony the Abbot, the patron saint of animals and Saint Sebastian, patron saint of archers.

  • Feast of San Basilio Magno a Galati Mamertino
  • Festa del Gesù Bambino della Gancia a Palermo
  • Feast of Sainth Anthony the Abbot in Santo Stefano Medio, Cassaro, 
    San Cataldo, Troina, Novara di Sicilia, and
    Zafferana Etnea
  • Festa di San Mauro Abate in Viagrande
  • Festa di San Sebastiano in Ciminna, Cerami, Maniace, Tortorici, Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto,
    Santa Venerina and Acireale
  • Festa di Maria Santissima della Cava a Marsala 
  • Feste Medievali a Monforte San Giorgio

Other Events in Sicily on January

Domenica al Museo is in cooperation with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. Italy including Sicily implements the Sunday in the Museum project. It allows free entrance to museums and sites every first Sunday of the month. The free entrance is available for locals and tourists.

Mercato della Terra dei Nebrodi a Cesarò

We hope that the January Calendar of Events in Sicily will help you during your stay. Feel free to visit the official website of the town where the festival is held. It will give you more detailed information about the event.

Have a lovely stay in Sicily!

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