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Sicilian Traditions: The “‘ntinna a Mari” in Cefalù

The so-called “‘ntinna a mari” is one of the most ancient Sicilian traditions and competitions (its origin probably dates back to the first sailing ships) celebrated every year in Cefalù on the last day of the celebrations for the Transfiguration. In ancient times only the male sons of the fishermen could take part in the event, who, showing daring and dexterity, had to reach a coloured flag placed at the end of a long trunk (once called the bowsprit tree, bowsprit in maritime jargon, at the bow of the ship) placed horizontally on the water and fixed to the dock; to complicate things a not insignificant detail: the trunk was greased with soap and tallow to make the surface slippery and therefore force the fishermen to try again after more than one dive into the sea!

Today the race remains substantially identical in substance, demonstrating how strong and felt is still the link between Cefalù and the sea, but it is no longer the only firstborn of fishermen, but different generations of “men of the sea”, young and old, who are confronted. Those who, among these, manage to catch the ‘ntinna shouts “Long live the Most Holy Savior!”.

Do you want to watch the ‘ntinna a mari?

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