So here are the pics from the St. Joseph's Alter at our local church. Look at the beautiful twisted breads and those pastries! Fig+pastries=love!
And this flower bunch is made out of bell peppers and purple cabbage. So unique!
Here is the story behind this rich tradition:
One of the great traditions on St. Joseph's Day is the beautifully decorated altars made to honor the Patron Saint of carpenters, fathers and Sicily to name a few. These altars, which have been around for centuries, are a labor of love by Sicilians who create them to give thanks for good fortune, fulfill a promise or just to share with those who are less fortunate.
Legend states that during the Middle Ages there was a severe drought and famine in Sicily. The people of the region prayed to St. Joseph asking him to put an end to the drought & famine that had plagued the area. If he would do so they would honor him by having a giant feast. St. Joseph answered their prayers and the people of Sicily kept their word. They prepared a giant feast in which everyone was invited including the poor. As part of the feast they erected an altar that consisted of three levels. The three levels, which represent the Holy Trinity, were draped in white linen and covered with flowers. A variety of foods were prepared, but none of them contained meat because the feast was held during lent.
*sigh* I love my rich culture!