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In this festival that celebrates the supposed generosity of the town’s elite, it is not completely clear whether the re-enacted gratitude of the populace is expressed seriously or ironically. The modern citizens of Calatafimi recognize that the bounty distributed by the wealthy in the original festival was meager - a great deal of show and little substance. When they today imitate the eagerness of their poor ancestors in calling for bread, nuts and chickpeas to be thrown to them by the riders of the parade floats and scramble to collect that which falls on the ground, it seems that the act is tongue-in-cheek. (It parallels the shouts of the crowds at the New Orleans Mardi Gras for yet more cheap plastic beads to be thrown to them from the parade floats - in a practice that may, in fact, derive from festivals like Calatafimi’s, which would have been familiar to the many Sicilians who emigrated to New Orleans in the late 1800s.) On the other hand, the reverence for the crucifix itself, and for its companion miraculous icon, the marble relief Madonna di Giubbino, seems completely genuine. The third and last day of the festival dispenses with the bread-throwing carts and concentrates on solemn processions bringing offerings up to the church that houses the Santissimo Crocifisso and a town-wide procession of the two icons at dusk.

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