Folk Traditions: The Drum

The Drum


From the Arabic word Tcnnbar, the tmnbur, or drum, is always present at religious holidays; there’s the adage:

Nun c’e festa senza tammurinu [There’s no feast day without a drum].


The customary times for playing are at sunrise, when the bells ring, at noon, and during the procession.

During Mass, they are played at the beginning, during the Gloria, upon the raising of the host, and at the end.


During Vespers: upon the Deus in auditorium, and the benediction.

It is played mournfully during Holy Week.

For Easter and always during town feast days, there are festive drum rolls. When they all roll together it’s a very clamorous sound.

[This webpage is excerpted from the book: “The History of Poggioreale, Sicily – From 1640 to 1956.” Originally written in Italian by: Canonico Dottore Francesco Aloisio in 1956. Adapted and translated by: Dr. Jeremiah P. Spence, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas. 5th Edition. International Order of Genealogists Publishing. Ireland. 2019. ISBN: 9781072403371. The book can be purchased online at: ]