While Americans honor their fathers in June, Italians celebrate la festa del Papa’ (Father’s Day) on March 19, the feast of San Giuseppe.
In Catholicism, San Giuseppe, or St. Joseph, is recognized as the archetype of the father and devoted husband. Legend has it that Mary selected him as her husband after his staff blossomed with flowers— a sign that he was the one chosen by God to be Jesus’ foster father.
In some parts of Italy, the holiday is celebrated with abundant feasts or bonfires. However, in most areas (especially in the south), the typical holiday sweets are zeppole. While the recipes vary from region to region, the zeppole are usually a sweet fried dough, stuffed with cream, and topped with a sour cherry and a dusting of sugar.
Warm wishes to all fathers on this holiday! Auguri a tutti i papa’!