When: 15 November
Where: Madonna dello Schiavo Sanctuary , via XX Settembre
What: Procession, religious festival
Every year, on 15 November, an evocative procession departs from the Sanctuary in Via XX Settembre to accompany the statue of Madonna dello Schiavo (Our Lady of the Slave) through the streets of the village. This is the high point of the festivities, during which an important chapter in the history of the Tabarka community is commemorated: the years of slavery in Tabarka between 1798 and 1803.
On 15 November 1800, a young slave found a statue on the beach of Naubel in Tunisia, probably a figurehead detached from the prow of a ship, whose features he recognised as the Virgin Mary. The discovery of the statue was immediately interpreted as a sign of imminent liberation, and the Madonna of the Slave has since been venerated by the faithful and celebrated by believers and non-believers alike with a festival that is one of the most heartfelt in the country, and a must if you visit the island in autumn.