Rosalia was a noble Norman girl who lived in the twelfth century and who retired from the world on the mount Pellegrino; her bones were found in the seventeenth century and saved Palermo from the black plague. This episode made her Patron of the city.
The legends linked to S. Lucia are very fascinating. The two saints, S. Agatha and S. Lucia had a similar destiny. Lucia refused the love of a noble lord; as a consequence he, in order to avenge himself on her, denounced her as a christian (in a period when christians were persecuted) and made her extirpate her eyes. That's why nowadays she is considered the saint who protects the sight.
There is a legend which tells us that Agatha and Lucia's lives were very linked; it is said that the two girls could meet themselves thanks to two tunnels of the christian catacombs which connected the cities of Catania and Siracusa. Once become saint S. Lucia became the patron of Siracusa. There ia a beautiful tradition that wants that every year a nice girl coming from Sweden (Siracusa and Stoccolma are twined thanks to the cult of S. Lucia ) is welcomed in Siracusa to pray on the occasion of the feast dedicated to S. Lucia which takes place in December.
Sicily has got three saints who are considered the patrons of Catania, Siracusa and Palermo. They are S. Agatha (patron of Catania), S. Lucia (Siracusa) and S. Rosalia (Palermo). Some fascinating legends are linked to them. The first one is the olive- tree of S. Agatha. It tells us that when Agatha was on her way to the law-court to be judged according to the will of her persecutor, Quinziano, she stopped to lace up her shoes. Just there an olive -tree originated and all its fruits were picked up by the devotees of S. Agatha. Nowadays just in front of the church built in the same place of the prison of S. Agatha there is an olive-tree and people think that it is the same tree of S. Agatha.
Our city has got a particular symbol, a stone-made elephant. It is in the main square of the city just in front of the cathedral dedicated to its patron, Saint Agatha .
The elephant stands in the centre of the square and it seems to observe the city and its inhabitants , who are very affectionated to it.
There are many legends linked to it, but there is one in particular which sounds very fascinating. It tells us that in ancient times , when Catania was firstly inhabited, some fierce animals threatened the city; so its inhabitants used the elephant (which was called Diotru) to make the other animals go away. As a consequence in order to thank the elephant people made a statue which represented it and which has become the symbol of the city.
Dear etwinning friends from India wishing you Happy holidays ( you are very lucky that school there finishes in these days) we would like to say something to you. Here in Sicily is already spring. And what about your country? We liked your dance very much: it was a great idea to dance a traditional dance of another country and you were very good. We thought to send you a video of our traditional dance that is "tarantella",but unfortunately we didn't have enough time to make it. Now we are going to make some videos to say goodbye to you. We hope you will have the possibility to watch them even if you are on holiday! We hope to work with you next year too for a new project. We learnt a lot about your culture and your legends. They are so special!