San Giuseppe – St Joseph’s Day

San Giuseppe - St. Joseph
San Giuseppe – St. Joseph
March 19

Today is the day when all those named Giuseppe (Joseph), Giuseppina (Josephine), etc., celebrate their onomastico, or name day.

In Italy, Spain and Portugal March 19th is also known as Father’s Day as Joseph was the husband of the Virgin Mary and stepfather of Jesus.

It is said that Sicilians, affected by severe drought, prayed to Joseph to save them.  Shortly after the drought ended and the Sicilians were spared.  To honour him it is customary for all to wear red today, which is similar to wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Foods and Traditions

Today’s meals often consist of meatless options such as minestrone or fava beans which are considered lucky as they were not affected by drought as were the other crops.  Since Joseph was a carpenter, foods made with breadcrumbs [representing sawdust] such as pasta with breadcrumbs are also a popular meal.  Fish is also often eaten.

Of course no feast would be complete without the famous zeppole which are actually a cream puff type dessert filled with ricotta or some other variation of cream depending on which region you are from.  In Calabria they are called ‘ zippoli‘ and they are simply fried dough which are sometimes filled with anchovies.

 

Nuccia

 

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2 thoughts on “San Giuseppe – St Joseph’s Day”

  1. Thanks for the reminder & update. Always enjoyed the Italian Celebrations while growing up & living in the Chicago area.
    Unfortunately here in the Phoenix these celebrations are very hadr to come by, & they are not celebrated like in Chgo & the East coast.
    Carol Racana Watson

    1. You’re welcome! Yes these types of celebrations are more common where there are larger groups of Europeans or Catholics such as Chicago, New York and New Orleans [a large group of Sicilians immigrated there]. Regardless I hope you enjoy the day!

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