FOLKLORE

Isola del Giglio, although small, is an island rich in traditions that are old and linked to particular festivities and specific dates in the year. The New Year is celebrated in Castello, in the main square known as "Piazza Gloriosa" with music performances, complimentary cakes to taste,IMG 5226 hot chocolate and vin brulè. For this occasion, in the past, a serenade would be sung during the early hours of the day to bid good wishes to the best families of the Castello. Nowadays to keep the tradition alive, the serenade is sung at 6p.m. on the 31st December in Giglio Castello and in the afternoon of 1st January in Giglio Porto. There are characteristic traditions also for Easter: the blessing in church of the chocolate eggs on Palm Sunday; the handing over of the key of theasinello Holy Sepulchre for three days to a devout believer who requests it and the Easter procession along the streets of Giglio Castello at 8a.m. followed by a bountiful breakfast of boiled eggs, lamb offal, bread with aniseed and "schiaccia di Pasqua" (a sweet aniseed cake). There are also the festivities for the patron saints of the 3 villages in Giglio. On the 15th September in Giglio Castello we celebrate San Mamiliano (Saint Mamiliano's Day), the patron saint of the island. In the morning after a solemn Mass, there is a procession to the main square carrying the relic of the Saint's arm. In the afternoon there is a "Palio degli Asini" (donkey palio) with representatives of the four districts of the village taking part. :"Centro, Cisterna, Rocca and Casamatta." The celebrations in the late afternooncactus are varied and include the dancing of the "Quadriglia" (an entertaining traditional folk dance), music performances, games for young and old and stalls selling traditional dishes. On the 10th August, in Giglio Porto, we celebrate San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence's Day) with a "Palio Marinaro" (a maritime Palio) in which representatives of the three districts of the village take part: "il Saraceno, il Moletto and il Centro," followed by evenings full of dance. On the 16th August, in Giglio Campese, we celebrate San Rocco (Saint Rocco's Day) with a procession to the sea, concerts, dances in the square and a foam party. At the end of each of the celebrations there is a spectacular fireworks display. During the summer there are also other events to enjoy such as the "sagre del totano" (a squid fair) in GDSC09435iglio Campese, the"Antichi sapori di mare: a spasso tra i rioni" event (Ancient tastes of the sea: a walk along the districts) in Giglio Porto where one can taste fresh fried fish along the seaside. Another event that has become very popular in the recent years is the "Festa dell'uva e delle cantine aperte" (Feast of grapes and open wine cellars) that takes place in Giglio Castello the last week of September lasting three days from Thursday to Saturday. Every day from 6p.m. onwards one can stroll along the little streets of the village and stop in various wine cellars along the way to eat and drink a very good local wine called "Ansonaco."