Among the many traditions of the island of Salina features - in the Aeolian islands - is that of tavuliate or tables..
On the occasion of this festival the town families prepare local dishes, such as pasta sauce or chickpeas, and place them on tables (hence the name), usually placed in the square of the parish church.
These dishes from humble origins but perfect for stimulating conviviality among people.The tables are, for the occasion, laden with the most beautiful tablecloths and flowers.
People start in procession to the tavuliate, preceded by the characters of the religious tradition - St. Joseph, the baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary - dressed in period costumes. Once in place these characters join the tavuliata and give off the event.
Usually, the event is accompanied by small orchestras playing traditional instruments - guitar, accordion, mandolin - and that with their songs glad the party.
In Salina, March is the month just to see how closely this event: Sunday 22 takes, in fact, the Tavuliata of St. Joseph.
It is an ancient tradition: it seems that the first took place even in 1835, when some residents of Malfa engaged in commerce turned to St. Joseph to be saved from a storm, during a sea voyage. Traders landed safely on the island, and wanted to thank St. Joseph creating the first tavuliata in his honor in Salina.
In the decades and centuries past the tavuliate represented an opportunity to meet and conviviality among the islanders.
Today, Salina continues to carry on this tradition every year, to rediscover the simple pleasure to meet and eat together.
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