The most important Feast day in Erice is that of Maria Santissima di Custonaci, the town’s Patron Saint and Protector, which takes place on the last Wednesday of August. The celebrations end with the procession of the portrait of the Madonna along its winding streets. The feast recalls the miracle performed by the Madonna in the 15th century, when she saved many sailors from a terrible shipwreck.
On Good Friday the Processione dei Misteri is celebrated. Images representing the Passion and Resurrection of Christ are paraded along the narrow streets. They are accompanied by the band which expresses the suffering of Christ in music. The statues, which date from 1600, are carried on the shoulders of the representatives of the different trades, who historically played an important role in the town’s social structure. The procession starts at the Church of St. Ursula and returns there after parading along the main streets.