September 14th - September 17th
The Feast of the Madonna della Consolazione is the recurring religious event that is most felt in all of Reggio. It is the festival par excellence, expected and prepared with devotion and passion every year.The events falls every second Saturday in September, during four consecutive days of celebrations and civil celebrations that culminate with the grand finale on Tuesday evening, when the entire Strait is lit by fireworks, set up on the waters off the Falcomatà promenade.
The sacred effigy of the Madonna, placed on a heavy vara, is carried in the procession from the hill of the Hermitage to the Cathedral by the famous “porters”, who carry the painting on their shoulders following a city path that winds between wings of crowds in prayer and jubilation.Although St. George is the patron saint of the city, Our Lady of Consolation is recognized by the entire community of Reggio as the true patroness to whom to appeal, ask for thanks, and offer favours; this is why the mother of Jesus is appealed to by the faithful of “our advocate.”
In addition to the religious aspects, the food traditions underline the explosions of joy and popular traditions that characterise the life of the city during the festival. Not only are the classic craft stalls and huge amusement park set up by suggestively by the sea appealing: the catering booths allow you to taste various typical dishes belonging to the Reggio cuisine.
These include “u paninu ca satizza” (also called “paninu cu satizzu”), a sandwich stuffed with pork sausage, peppers, or fried potatoes and onion, and other delicious variations and the “frittole,” a popular dish that is must on the tables of the Reggio people, which have also been tasted for some decades in their street food version with samples of slow cooked pork in the typical “caddara”, a large pot. The entire historic centre becomes pedestrian and the Duomo is also open at night to welcome the faithful, who come from Calabria and Sicily, in prayer vigil.
In the squares and along the streets during the Marian evenings, it is possible to watch and get involved in the rhapsodic dance of the traditional tarantella, a dance that has its roots in Maga Graecia, similar to those dances performed by Dionysian cults.