The feast of Saint Agatha is inseparable from the traditional parade of the "Candelore", huge candles covered with handmade decorations, gilded wooden cherubs, saints and scenes of martyrdom, flowers and flags.
The candles precede the fercolo in procession, because once, when there was no electric lighting, they had the function of illuminating the passage to the participants in the procession. They are carried on the shoulder by a number of carriers that, depending on the weight of the candle, can vary from 4 to 12 men. The master goldsmiths of the fourteenth century had created the Bust of Saint Agatha, a masterpiece of refined and precious art.But the people, always close to the patron, wanted to be present in the festival with their own creations, works of craftsmanship that represented, In addition, associations of various categories of workers.
Each of the 11 candles has a specific identity. On the shoulders of the bearers, it comes alive and lives its uniqueness, which is composed of several elements: the shape that characterizes the candle, the gait and the type of sway that is given, the choice of a march as a background music.
The candles always parade in the same order.
To open the procession is the small candle of Monsignor Ventimiglia. The first large candle represents the inhabitants of the district of San Giuseppe La Rena and was built in the early nineteenth century.
It’s followed by that of gardeners and florists, in Gothic-Venetian style.
The third in order of exit is that of fishmongers, in late Baroque style with friezes saints and small fish. Its unmistakable step has earned the candelora the nickname of "Bersagliera ".
The candle that follows is that of the greengrocers, which instead has an elegant step and is therefore called the "Miss" "That of the butchers is a tower with four orders.
The candlestick of pasta is a simple eighteenth-century candlestick without scenery. The candlestick of pizzicagnoli and bettolieri is in art nouveau style, that of the bakers is the heaviest of all, adorned with great angels, and for its cadence is called the "mother ".
The procession ends with the candelora of the city circle of Saint Agatha which was introduced by Cardinal Dusmet. In the past the candles were even more numerous: there were those of shoemakers, confectioners, builders, until they reached in some periods the number of 28.