CHRISTMAS IN PALERMO
There are many events in this city over the Christmas period. There are itinerant musicians, zampogna players, markets and lights everywhere, but the celebration of the Immaculate Conception is particularly popular and has a strong historical tradition. The day before the faithful make a pilgrimage to the Basilica of San Francesco, while on the 8th at least 112 confraternities meet in front of the Cathedral to go to the Basilica. In the afternoon, the silvery Madonna float is carried in a procession through the city, stopping at piazza San Domenico before visiting the Cathedral and then returning back to the Basilica. The silver statue is finely chiselled, representing the Madonna surrounded by beams of light and crowned with twelve stars.