Are you going to celebrate San Giuseppe this year?

On the 19th March in Italy people celebrate San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph), who was the Virgin Mary’s spouse. This festivity is very ancient: apparently it was firstly celebrated around 1030 A.D.

In many Catholic countries, that day is also father’s day (festa del papà). Italy is one of those countries, together with Spain, Portugal, Bolivia, Honduras and many more.

The Catholic tradition describes San Giuseppe as a good husband and father: that is why he became a model for all the men and a symbol of conjugal love and loyalty.

In 1871 he became the protector of all fathers and in 1968, in Italy, his celebration was associated to Father’s Day.

How do people celebrate?

Father’s Day is the perfect occasion to buy a little present for your dad and spend some time with family. Also, there are some lovely traditions related to this day.

For example, in some Italian regions people light big bonfires (falò): this tradition comes from the rural custom of burning the harvest’s residuals and purify the soil, waiting for the spring.

Sometimes people burn a puppet which represents the winter: in this way they say goodbye to the toughest months and welcome the prosperity of the warm spring.

Then there are a lot of traditional sweets made for this special day.

In Naples people eat the delicious zeppole di san Giuseppe: deep fried pastries filled with a kind of custard cream and topped with black cherries. Do you want to make this amazing pastries? Try the recipe!

In Bologna a typical sweet is the raviola, shortcrust pastry filled with jam, while in the Centre of Italy it is very common to make the frittelle di san Giuseppe: they are basically fritters made with rice cooked in the milk and flavoured with a sweet liqueur and raisins.

All these sweets are very tasty, you should try them!

And if you are curious about other celebrations and traditions follow this link.