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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
 
 

St. Angela Festival
Golf Tournament
Madonna di Canneto at Ciociaro Club
Tour di Via Italia
Easter
The Lenten Season
Christmas
New Year

 
 
St. Angela Festival
 
The St. Angela Festival is celebrated in the month of August, every year, by the Italian Community and St. Angela Merici Church. The celebration which is named for the patroness of the parish, started as a tradition 18 years ago, in 1987. In 2005, the festival was celebrated on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 12, 13 & 14, with an outdoor Mass and Procession.

St. Angela Merici was born in Desenzano on Lake Garda, in 1474. She was an orphan by the age of 15. Angela was the founder of the Ursuline order (named after St. Ursula) - the first teaching order for women. Determined to do something to help, she began to teach the poorest children, helped by some other women tertiaries. This practice later developed into a community of women who shared a common rule of life and devoted themselves to teaching and caring for young women and children. She died on January 27, 1540 in a small room off the Church of St. Afra in Brescia, Italy.
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Golf Tournament
 
The Scalabrini Foundation for the Poor holds an annual golf tournament at Seven Lakes to raise funds.
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Madonna di Canneto at Ciociaro Club
 
The faithful people devoted to Madonna file to the Sanctuary of Canneto every day of the year, but especially on Sundays. The greatest influx of pilgrims takes place from August 18-22, the time set aside for yearly festivals. There is an annual celebration in August, at the Ciociaro Club, to celebrate this event which includes a High Massm an outdoor procession, and entertainment for two days.
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Tour di Via Italia
 
Tour di Via Italia in September in the heart of Windsor's "Little Italy" (Erie Street East). The course runs through this unique area and features professional and amateur cyclists of all ages from North America and abroad.

The Erie Street Bicycle Race has become an important tradition in the Italian community and in the city of Windsor. For many years, the Erie Street Bicycle Race has provided an opportunity for riders from all over the world to visit the area to compete against other Canadian riders, many of whom are from our own city of Windsor. The race has served to bring the community closer together, as friends and families gather on the streets to cheer those riders of the city of Windsor. It has given the local businesses and organizations the opportunity to offer donations to keep the tradition of the Erie Street Bicycle Race alive and to support an event which serves to build the community.
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Easter
 
Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In that year, the Council of Nicaea was convened by Emperor Constantine. It issued the Easter Rule which states that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. The ecclesiastical "vernal equinox" is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25.
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The Lenten Season
 
Lent is the forty-six day period just prior to Easter Sunday. It begins on Ash Wednesday. There are 6 weeks of fasting and abstinence during Lent. The Cross is the symbol of the Crucifixion, as opposed to the Resurrection. As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, the Dyed Easter Egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs, in the springtime, is a custom that was centuries old, when Easter was first celebrated by Christians. From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth. Today, children hunt colored eggs and place them in Easter baskets. Lamb, Easter bread and wine are an important part of the Easter dinner.
 
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Christmas
 
On the Italian holiday calendar, December 25 is a special day, the birth of
Jesus Christ. The celebration starts eight days before and lasts until after the Feast of Epiphany. Christmas as it is celebrated by Italians has two origins: the familiar traditions of Christianity blended with the pagan traditions predating the Christian era. The greatest feast of the ancient Roman Empire, "Saturnalia" (a winter solstice celebration), just happens to coincide with the Christmas celebrations of the Advent. Consequently, Christmas fairs, merrymaking and torch processions, honor not only the birth of Christ, but also the birth of the "Unconquered Sun." "Natale," the Italian word for Christmas, is literally the translation for "birthday." A Yule log, the Ceppo, is burned, and toasts in wine and wishes for the future are expressed. Christmas Eve is a time for viewing Italy's artistic and elaborate manger scenes or Cribs. It represents, in miniature, the Holy Family in the stable and is the center of Christmas for families. Guests kneel before it and musicians sing before it.

Amidst the general merrymaking and religious observance of Christmas Eve, Christmas tapers (long slender candles) are lighted and a Christmas banquet is spread. Common throughout Italy are the Christmas sweets: "panettone" (cake filled with candied fruit), "torrone" (nougat) and "panforte" (gingerbread) made with hazelnuts, honey and almonds. All Christmas sweets, as a rule, contain nuts and almonds. Children hang up their stockings on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6. They celebrate the visit of the Three Kings to Bethlehem. Instead of Santa Claus, children are expecting La Befana. No meat is eaten for twenty-four hours before Christmas Eve, but there follows a meal as big as the family can afford.
 
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New Year
 
A New Year’s tradition in the Italian community is the eating of lentils to bring good luck for the coming year, and the eating of an evening meal that consists of twelve dishes. This is the tradition of filling twelve mouths and may be related to the twelve months of the year.
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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

 

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