Saint Joseph Day : this celebration is most important in Bastia as Saint Joseph is one of the town's patron saints. On 19 March every year, Bastia's inhabitants honour their patron saint by parading his statue through the town to Saint Marie's cathedral. Uniting Joseph with his wife the Virgin Mary is celebrated by eating traditional, delicious "panzarotti" (rice or chickpea flour doughnuts) and parading throughout the city.
In Bastia, the Holy Week ("a Settimana Santa") is marked by numerous festivities and commemorations of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. From Palm Sunday with the traditional braided...
On 3 May every year, the inhabitants of Bastia honour the Miraculous Black Christ. This crucifix, found at sea in 1428, is kept in the beautiful Sainte-Croix oratory in Bastia's Citadel. A procession, uniting fishermen, brotherhoods and believers walks to Bastia's old harbour, where the traditional "sea blessing" takes place.
Saint Anthony's Day : another of Bastia's patron saints is celebrated with great fanfare in the 16th century convent; church services, processions and street parties make up the better part of the day.
Celebrations start on 23 June in the evening with the traditional "fugare" (St John's bonfire), a huge fire lit in the Old Harbour at the foot of the Citadel's fortifications. The next day, the religious ceremony takes over from the secular celebrations in the large Corsican church, where processions and services are organised until the evening.
15 August : Bastia is proud of the processional, imposing and beautiful solid silver statue of the Virgin Mary it holds in its cathedral. This statue - weighing close to half a tonne - is paraded through the streets of the old town during the annual procession.
On 16 August every year, in the small Saint Roch oratory located rue Napoléon - just after mass - blessings are given and small bread rolls are given out. These holy bread rolls are traditionally preserved to protect people against epidemics and lightning.