IMG_5164

IMG_5165

You might find this strange because elefanti are not part of Italia, but part of il simbolo of Catania is the elefante!  Recognizing the mixed cultures found in Sicilia (actually, I don’t know why it is partially the elefante, but I bet there is a story there – actually, there are several according to Wikipedia).  But that’s not the important part that I’m trying to point out here!  What’s the important part is the picture of Athena or the A on top of the elefante.  Sometimes Athena, goddess of wisdom, is pictured over the elefante but more often, she is portrayed as simply the letter A.  Now the interesting part!  The A stands for three things: 1) Athena, 2) Santa Agata, the patron saint of Catania, or, my most favorite, 3) Etna (Aetna in Latin).  Typically, it refers to Etna.  Which brings us to a rather interesting point, Catania society is not solely a Christian society still – there are still trace elements of its paganism/pantheism roots.  Which I rather like this.  They do not simply pay homage to the Christian saint but also to the mountain, remembering the fact that by the grace of the volcano, they can still there on the land.  (taken 27.2.2015)

Advertisements