Sicily is well known all around the world for being the biggest island in the Mediterranean, because it hosts the highest volcano in Europe, Etna, but it is also unfortunately related to the mafia. However, Sicily is much more than that. A huge variety of sights, culture, traditions, food and history make this island fascinating and endlessly interesting.
We can even define Sicily as magic. The place where the profane and the religious meet. It’s the abode of heroes, witches, monsters, and legends. You can find them in every corner of Sicily. Anyone in Sicily knows at least a superstition or a legend, which come across their daily life. There are good lucky charms, rites, and ritual phrases, such as a horseshoe, the sign of horns and the Trinacria symbol that are used to defeat evil.
If you have ever been to Sicily you have surely heard about “malocchio” (evil eye). It’s a superstition about the power of the gaze which produces negative effects on the observed person. There are many ways to remove it, which all Sicilian grandmothers know. One way involves the use of oil, another the recitation of magic formulas. To prevent it, you must
always carry a nail, a red horn, an old horseshoe or sew a piece of red ribbon on your clothes. When something bad happens we instantly think that its because of “malocchio”.
There are so many gestures and warnings meant to push away bad luck, which are fascinatingly perpetuated among Sicilian people, such as “don’t put money on your bed” or “don’t get married in May or August”,just to mention a few.
There is no shortage of legends that have been handed down for centuries. The Moor’s heads, Etna and the giant Encelado, but one of the most famous is the legend of Colapesce.
It’s about a boy, half man and half fish, who discovered that Sicily was held by three columns under the sea .When he saw that one of these was about to break, he decided to sacrifice himself diving to the sea bottom to support one of the corners of Sicily.
That’s a piece of Sicilian culture, tied to the past.