Friday was the feast day of Saint Giuseppe (Saint Joseph), and in Italy it was also fathers day (since - if you are religious - Joseph/Giuseppe was the husband of Mary/Maria the mother of Jesus.) It was also the onomastico of bel fidanzato which means it was his name day/saints day...because my bel fidanzato is called Giuseppe.
Some Italians go all out for their onomastico, others not. Poor bel fidanzato had to remind me that it was his name day after dropping not so subtle hints all morning. We went to the local bar and bought some zeppole which are a donut like pastry filled with custard.
It is tradition to eat them on San Giuseppe. Bel fidanzato may be called Giuseppe, but he has no idea why Italians eat zeppole on San Giuseppe. The Internet claims that the tradition may have derived in Sicily as Saint Giuseppe is accredited with saving the island from a severe drought in the middle ages. Finally the much awaited rain came, and to celebrate the locals made lots of sweets, since Saint Giuseppe is the patron saint of pastry chefs! (I thought he was the saint of carpenters, but then again who says saints cannot have more then one 'use.')
So years on Italians - and particularly those in the south - make and eat zeppole. Bel fidanzato's mum was busy making them yesterday, the bar was selling them on Friday and I think everyone was out celebrating since Giuseppe is SUCH a common name in Italy.