Italian traditions: Almond Blossom Festival in Agrigento
- WTI Magazine #52 Jan 23, 2015
WTI Magazine #52 2015 January, 23
Author : folclore.it Translation by:
An appointment that has been repeated for over half a century and has become a meeting point for the peoples from all over the earth. History, folklore and art blend harmoniously during one of the most famous folk festivals in the world.
The white almond blossom in the Valley of the Temples announces the return of spring. Agrigento, geographical and historical center of the Mediterranean, also becomes the fulcrum of harmony and culture of peoples. The spirit of joy, peace and brotherhood that hovers in the ancient Akragas during the Feast of the almond tree overcomes all ideological or racial barriers.
The Almond Blossom Festival was born in 1934 in Naro, thanks to Count Alfonso Gaetani, with the aim to enhance the Agrigento spring giving a day of celebration and happiness to all the farmers of the valley.
During the day dedicated to the festival everything would stop and it would seem that the "Valley of Paradise" (the valley below the town of Naro) was enchanted by the white cloud of almond flowers, a magic repeated every year in spring. Later on in the years, the festival was moved to Agrigento, where it could have more resonance, and show this beautiful spectacle throughout the entire province of Agrigento. The city of Agrigento gladly adopted the Almond Blossom Festival.
During the years the festival expanded its horizons welcoming together under the beautiful scenery of the Valley of the Temples peoples of all races and cultures. The beginning of the festival is very impressive and is about the ceremony of the Torch of Friendship that envisages the tripod of friendship, placed before the Temple of Concordia, in the presence of representatives of all the people participating in the festival.