Saint Sebastian

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Saint Sebastian is the patron Saint of fisherman and the sea. He is specifically Ortigia’s patron Saint because of the amount fisherman and sea around this beautiful place.  We arrived at Saint Sebastian church around 5:45 and got to watch the band of Siracusa perform. Following this they had a large ceremony where they brought out the statue of Saint Sebastian and walked it around the streets of Ortigia. It took the men around 3 hours to get back to the Piazza to start the auction of bread.

The families and businesses donated bread with hidden candies, oranges, and even wine to be auctioned off that night. These arrangements usually go for about 25-30 Euro.  As I watched the statue being put down for the auction I started noticing multiple people raising their children up to touch the statue. I asked what the meaning of this was and was surprised by the answer.

The people of Ortigia believe that if they touch their child to the statue it will bring the baby good luck and good fortune for the rest of life. I think that this is such a cool way to honor Saint Sebastian. These little traditions are what makes Ortigia such a great small community. Following the auction they shot off fireworks and cannons. It was almost like the Fourth of July, including my favorite firework the weeping willow! It is such a cool thing that the whole community comes together to celebrate and worship someone and something that is so important to them