Patron of Sirolo is celebrated on May 9 or on Saturday or Sunday immediately following. It is constituted by two challenges.
The challenge of the contradas takes its cue from the life of the Saint with particular to one of its miracles: legend has it that a citizen of Patara had lost all its have, and her three daughters, devoid of dowry, could not find a husband, for which they were intended to prostitution. Having heard this, Nicola took a bag of gold and threw it overnight through the window of the house of man; with this sum the eldest daughter could marry. The Holy behaved then equally with the other two daughters by saving them from their fate. Precisely in relation to this "miracle" San Nicola is often represented with three coins (or globes) d'oro in hand. Moreover takes inspiration from the existence in the ancient castle of Sirolo della Cisterna di San Nicola that the Statutes obliged to keep full: "That nisuno habitante del Castello possible go to get water at Cisterna di S. Nicolò". Translation: That no inhabitant of the castle (center of Sirolo) can go to take water from the cistern of S. Nicola.
The challenge of canaja (from 11 to 13 years), instead, takes its cue from the legend of the "Three children and of the innkeeper". According to one version, the fact would have happened while Nicola went to the Council of Nicea. Stopped at an Osteria, he was presented with a dish based on fish, at least from what he said the innkeeper. Nicola, divinely inspired knew that it was instead of human flesh. Called the innkeeper, expressed his desire to see how it was preserved that "fish". The innkeeper accompanied him at two barrels full of salted meat of three children he killed. Nicola stood in prayer and it is here that the meat is ricomposero and children saltarono blithely out from casks. The prayer of Nicola impelled the innkeeper to conversion, even if in a first time these had tried to hide his wrongdoing.
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