Holy Week Comes to Life in Trapani's Province

Author: Maurizio Rivaben
Published: February 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

The Holy week is the week right before Easter. In 2012 it's from 1st to 8th of April. During this period, there are a lot of religious events and ceremonies in Trapani's province which is located in the western coast of Sicily island, Italy. The Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. Each church has plenty of baskets full of small olive tree branches and woven palms symbolizing Christ entering in Jerusalem.

On Holy Tuesday and Wednesday, just in Trapani, there are two important processions: in the first one, the painting of "Mother Pity of the Massari" (men who do the heavy work, employed to transport stuff and goods) is carried on through the narrow streets of the old town. The second one is similar except that the painting is the "Mother Pity of the People".

On Maundy Thursday, in Marsala, there is every year the procession of the living "Misteri" (the name probably comes from the mysteries of Faith). Scenes of Christ's Passion and Death took place in the streets of Marsala city. 200 persons dressing period costumes form a parade 1 km. long.

The real explosion of Christianity rituality is on Good Friday. All along the province, there are several processions: in Alcamo the procession of the Dead Christ and the Lady of Sorrows; in Castelvetrano, the Holy Sepulchre; in Mazara del Vallo, the one dedicated to Dead Jesus while in Salaparuta some representations of the Passion take place. The greatest and moving moment is in Trapani where the "Misteri" procession take place. 20 groups of statues, made of wood, cloth and glue, are carried all through the city for almost 24 hours.

Finally on Easter Sunday, besides the normal and common Easter masses, the Sicilians use to celebrate the "Dawn feasts", so called because they took place early in the morning. They were inspired by the evangelic episode of the three pious women going to the Sepulchre and discovering the Resurrection of Christ. These feasts take place in Mazara del Vallo, Salaparuta and Castelvetrano.


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