Every year, on a regular basis, Ischia renews its ancient traditions and celebrations. Catholic holidays and farm and sea celebrations and alternate, cold winter to hot summer. The ancient Catholic traditions have altered the face of the island of Ischia, giving its artistic and cultural heritage over seventy churches with saints, revered for thousands of years by districts Ischia. St. Anne, St. Vitus, St. John Joseph, Santa Restituta, are just some of the Saints that the districts, and on special occasions the entire island, dedicate festivities that last for an average of three to five days. Sant’Anna, San Vito, San Giovan Giuseppe, Santa Restituta, are some of the Saints where the roads on the occasion of the feasts dedicate solemn celebrations that last less or more from three to five days.
Especially noteworthy are the religious rituals, the decorations of churches and streets, the air of celebration and the special joy that is expressed by all participants, as if to recall the old value that was given to those feast days and not single representation ritual event. The fireworks are a real treat for the fans of the genre, real races are held every year for the award of the title of theparty with the most beautiful of the fires, digging up part of the rivalry that has always existed between the various municipalities and districts of the country. The ancient traditions of the island of Ischia are also strongly represented in the major holidays of the year, Holy Easter and Christmas. There are many events of historical cultural and religious represented in the six municipalities on the island of Ischia, such as “"The Fish Market on Christmas Eve"”, “Angel Run” and “The Via Crucis” at Easter.
City of Ischia 26/07
The Feast of St. Anne dates back to a tradition of the last century. On July 26, of each year, pregnant women went in procession to worship the effigy of the Virgin Mother, that was in a chapel in the Bay of Cartaromana. They were accompanied by a procession consisting of the fishing boats, which for the occasion decorated the hull with boughs and garlands of flowers.
In the early 30s a group of friends had the idea of establishing an award for the most beautiful boat. Afterwards this group of friends joins a carpenter and craftsman who replaces goiters raft of forms and surprising ornaments. A so start the festive procession with floats in sea water. Since then, the party of the sea cliffs of St Anne has a charm all its own, is an event that has no equal in the world, because it uses a scenario that alone would be worth to live forever. The number one of viewers is exorbitant that crowding on the cliff overlooking the yachts in the beautiful bay. They want to be witnesses that the party retains its charm over time, the atmosphere that is created by the burning of the castle and the spectacular fireworks.
St. John Joseph of the Cross
City of Ischia from 04/09 to 08/09
San Giovan Giuseppe was born in Ischia on August 15, 1654 with the name of Carlo Gaetano Calosirto. At just the age of 16 he was welcomed by the Franciscans in the convent of S. Lucia al Monte in Naples, on June 24, 1671 where he made his solemn profession on 18 September 1677 and was ordained a priest. After three years, he asked to be deprived of active and passive voice and devote himself exclusively to prayer and the apostolate, in 1688 he returned to Ischia to assist the dying mother and then to his poor health. Died in Naples on March 5, 1734, in the convent of S. Lucia al Monte. On October 4, 1779 in the Franciscan church of S. Maria d'Aracoeli in Rome, Pope Pius VI declared the heroic virtues of Brother John Joseph of the Cross. The same Pope proclaimed him Blessed in the Basilica of St. Peter on May 24, 1789. On May 26 1839, Pope Gregory XVI canonized this holy son of Ischia, the Church's glory, honor and pride of the Franciscan Order.
In the church calendar, the Saint is honored on March 5, while the festivities in the streets of Ischia Ponte, were held on the first Sunday of September for a period of four days. In these days of celebration, the church is decorated and Masses were celebrated continuously, the relic of the saint is carried in procession through the city streets and sea where the boat with the relic is followed by the fishermen. The festivities end with a fireworks show.
City of Ischia on 26/08
The historical parade of St. Alexander, on the initiative of a group of residents in the village of Saint Alexander, is a representation in rich costumes of the history of the island, the Greek domination, until the unification of Italy, through the influences of style engraved by various conquerors also foreigners who have inhabited it. Departing at sunset, from the great portal of the Aragonese Castle, accompanied by the flag bearers of some district invited for the occasion and, along the main road through the town center, reaches the port then the District of Sant’Alessandro where we celebrate the Mass in the church dedicated. At the end of the Mass in the small village there is a party with music and drinks offered.