Sunday, 9 February 2014

Celebrating the 5th

In Italy, the 5th of February seems to generate quite a buzz.
Image from
Some celebrate at breakfast by lathering on Nutella, as they enjoy the hazelnut chocolate topping that is "more than just a chocolatey spread, it's a way of life", according to the founder of World Nutella Day, Sara Rosso. In 2007, Sara, a fervent fan of the Italian breakfast staple, designated the 5th of February as World Nutella Day and she's been spreading the news ever since.

Creative commons image sourced here
In the south of Italy, particularly in Catania, the 5th is part of a much more expansive celebration which goes well beyond breakfast.  From the 3rd to the 5th of February, the relics of the town's patron saint, Agatha, are the focus of a spectacular festival. An elaborate series of  rituals culminate in a procession over two days, during which a huge silver carriage, containing the Saint's relics, is carried through the town.
Creative commons image sourced here
Image from here
While the story of Saint Agatha's martyrdom is particularly gruesome, the celebrations commemorating her sacrifice sound incredible and definitely worth seeing. (To read more about this festival and the special minni di virgini- virgins' breast cakes, eaten at this time throughout Sicily, go here and to the comprehensive blog, Baroque Sicily .)

This year for my 5th of February celebrations, I enjoyed a delicious dinner with Stefano at Tagiura, a lovely restaurant only a few minutes walk from our apartment.
While in Sydney, the celebrations were a little more exciting!
Is that a Nutella chocolate cake?
Buon compleanno mia sorella gemella. Il prossimo anno vi piacerebbe andare a Catania?


  1. Happy birthday, Jenny!!!! Great post. And thanks for linking to me.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Jann. Much appreciated.

  2. Loved all the different stories and celebrations connected to 5 Feb Jen, and looked like a lovely place to celebrate your birthday. Hope there is some sort of festival/spectacle on when we visit.