THE FEAST OF MARIA SS. DEL MONTE
The Madonna del Monte is the Queen and Co-patron of Racalmuto, and on the second Sunday of July of every year, she is enthusiastically celebrated by the town. The feast begins on the previous Friday, with the historical re-enactment of the miracle of 1503. The Virgin’s simulacrum is paraded in the town streets on a float pulled by two oxen. The float is followed by a cortege of horse riders in costumes of, to remember the arrival in Racalmuto of the prince Gioieni. When the float reaches Piazza Crispi, the followers re-enact the Virgin’s arrival in town. On Sunday morning, the worshippers, followed by donkeys loaded with bags of wheat, reach the Sanctuary of S. Maria del Monte on foot, and some daring horsemen climb the staircase that leads to the Sanctuary and enter into it on their horses. The feast ends with the procession of the Virgin on a float shaped like a ship.