In Italy especially, feast days and holidays are often celebrated with specific foods. Each dish or its ingredients generally symbolize a significant moment in Italian history. Every month throughout the year, CRAFT will mark FEAST days, weekends or weeks with special menus or even a single dish that celebrates the feast of living Italian style.

EVERY SUNDAY IS FEAST DAY
La Familglia Domenica - "Sunday Family Dinner"
3 courses are served family style at the table.
ALWAYS AVAILABLE: PORCHETTA (pronounced por-ketta), Italian rolled roasted pig stuffed with garlic and fennel seeds. Porchetta has been selected by the Italian Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali as a "prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale" ("traditional agricultural-alimentary product", one of a list of traditional Italian foods held to have cultural relevance). Porchetta is one of two iconic culinary products of the Lazio region, the other being the sheep cheese pecorino romano

FEBRUARY
FRIDAY 4 FEBRUARY: Saint Agatha's Feast Day - Catania, Sicily Saint Agatha, a martyr who died in 252 at age 15, is the patron saint of Catania, Sicily, and an exciting festival is held in her honor in Catania. The 2-day procession, said to be the second largest religious procession in the world, begins February 4. Following a mass at dawn, the statue of St. Agatha that houses her relics is placed on a fercolo, a 40,000 pound silver carriage, that will be pulled up Monte Sangiuliano by 5,000 men. The huge festival lasts for two days and two nights and as with most Italian festivals, there is also plenty of eating and drinking and a huge fireworks display at the end.

MARCH
8 MARCH Carnevale (MARDI GRAS) *Carnevale, also known as carnival or mardi gras, is celebrated in Italy and many places around the world 40 days before Easter, a final party before Ash Wednesday and Lent. Carnevale is one of Italy's biggest festivals and events often last for two to three weeks before the actual carnival day. Many Italian towns celebrate carnevale the weekend before the actual carnival date, which is on Shrove Tuesday. SATURDAY 19 MARCH: Saint Joseph's Day is the Patronal Feast day for persons named Joseph, Josephine. Anyone who can prove their names are Joseph or Josephine, eat for free (pay for drinks) *Saint Joseph, (Mary's husband), March 19, is also known as Father's Day in Italy. The day is traditionally celebrated with bonfires and sometimes pageants with scenes from the life of Saint Joseph. Children give gifts to their fathers on San Giuseppe Day. Zeppole are traditionally eaten on Saint Joseph's Day.

APRIL
SUNDAY 24 APRIL: EASTER SUNDAY Since Easter is the end of the Lent season, food plays a big part in the celebrations. Traditional Easter foods include lamb or goat, artichokes, and special Easter breads that vary from region to region. Pannetone and Colomba (dove shaped) breads are often given as gifts as are hollow chocolate eggs that usually come with a surprise inside.

MAY
SUNDAY 1 MAY: MAY DAY RISOTTO FESTIVAL The Risotto Festival happens on the first Sunday of May in the Piedmont town of Sessame is a huge feast of a special rice dish dating back to the 13th century. SUNDAY 8 MAY: MOTHERS DAY

JUNE SUNDAY 19 JUNE: FATHERS DAY FRIDAY JUNE 24: Feast Day of San Giovanni (St. John the Baptist) Marks the Ancient middle of Summer, Astronomical beginning of Summer (SUMMER SOLSTICE), and the nativity of St. John the Baptist. Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of Genoa, Florence and Turin where a fireworks display takes place at the celebration on the river. In Turin Saint John's cult is also diffused since medieval times when the city stops to work for two days and people from the surroundings comes to dance around the bonfire in the central square.

JULY
10-15 JULY: U Fistinu of Saint Rosalia U Fistinu of Saint Rosalia is one of Sicily's biggest festivals held July 10-15 in Palermo. The procession centers around a 50-foot high float with a statue of Saint Rosalia and a musical band inside. There is lots of feasting and music.

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER
SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER: Festival of the Madonna a Mare Festival of the Madonna a Mare, Madonna of the sea, is celebrated the second Sunday of September in Sicily in the village of Patti, Mesina province. The golden Madonna statue is carried to the sea in a procession, then put on an illuminated boat to lead a boat procession. Dancing, music, food, and wine follow.

OCTOBER
SATURDAY & SUNDAY 2/3 OCTOBER: TUSCAN BOCCACCESCA Boccaccesca - A gastronomic fair the first two weekends of October is held in Certaldo Alto, Tuscany.Certaldo Alto is a medieval hilltown with Etruscan roots between Florence and Siena. Evidently, there are few rocks in the region for building, and the whole town is constructed of red bricks. Certaldo Alto was the home of Boccaccio, author of Il Decamerone, written in 1351, and you can visit his house. NOVEMBER TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER: ALL SAINTS DAY All Saints Day is celebrated November 1 to honour all the saints and is a national holiday in Italy. On All Souls Day, November 2, Italians bring flowers to cemeteries to honor deceased relatives. During November you'll find some music and cultural festivals and performing arts seasons are starting. Truffles are the star of November Festivals in Italy. Many truffle fairs are held in northern and central Italy. You'll also find chestnut festivals in many towns and villages during November. Restaurants will often have special meals highlighting truffles, chestnuts, or wild mushrooms especially on Sundays. Fall is a great time for eating in Italy.

DECEMBER
TUESDAY 13 DECEMBER: Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception CRAFT CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AND LIGHTS WILL BE SWITCHED ON. Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, is a national holiday. There are celebrations throughout Italy and churches hold special masses. You'll find parades, feasts, and music in many places. In the Abruzzo region, it is often celebrated with bonfires and traditional singing. Rome celebrates with floral wreaths and a ceremony at the Spanish Steps presided over by the Pope. Although government offices and banks are closed, many stores stay open for holiday shopping. SATURDAY 24 DECEMBER: CHRISTMAS EVE FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES SUNDAY 25 DECEMBER: Buon Natale MONDAY 26 DECEMBER: SAINT STEPHENS DAY SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER: NEW YEARS EVE

JANUARY
SUNDAY JANUARY 1: NEW YEARS DAY Lentils are an ancient pulse and have been cultivated in Italy since Roman times. Traditionally, they are eaten by many Italians at the New Year to augur prosperity and good fortune. Few people realize that lentils, lenticchie, play an important role in Italian cuisine. FRIDAY 20 JANUARY: FEAST DAY OF SAN SEBASTIANO Feast Day of San Sebastiano is celebrated many places in Sicily on January 20. In Mistretta, a huge statue of the saint is paraded through town on a litter born by 60 men. In Acireale, there is a colorul parade with a silver carriage and singing of hymns.