Categories
Easter Italy Puglia Traditions

Easter Traditions in Puglia

The most famous rites take place in Taranto, starting on Palm Sunday when local fraternal orders bid in an auction for the honour of carrying the statues of Christ in the Holy Friday procession. Beginning at midnight on the Holy Friday, members of the fraternities dress in white robes, covering their faces with hoods with only two slits for their eyes, which render them unrecognizable. Following an ancient route through the town, the fraternities walk barefoot, carrying the heavy statues representing the Stations of the Cross until dawn.

Settimana Santa a Taranto - I Perdoni
Taranto – I Perdoni (The Penitents)
Foto: Pino Calvo

The pilgrimage of Our Lady of Sorrows takes place on Holy Thursday night.

At 11.45 pm that night, a sea of ​​people, crowded under the 14th century portal of the Temple of Saint Dominic Maggiore, awaits the release of the simulacrum of Mary.

A pilgrim procession of confreres in the traditional black “ritual” habit that runs the streets of the historic center of Taranto and the streets of the Umbertino village for a journey of about 10 km; an itinerary that starts from the fourteenth-century church of San Domenico Maggiore on via Duomo at 11:30 pm on Holy Thursday to return at 2:00 pm on Good Friday, embracing both the old and the new city.

A procession strongly felt by the Tarantino people who crowd the exit of the simulacrum and its entire path; there are thousands of people present at the “exit” of the procession, composed of 15 pairs of confreres, three mazzeri, a Troccola, a Throne, two “weigh”, a Cross of the Mysteries, the Simulacrum of the Virgin and two band complexes that accompany the slow pace with the sound of funeral marches.

This is the procession of Taranto, the popular piety that becomes “true”; everyone is spiritually attracted by the evangelical beauty of such a manifestation of Faith.

A “sea” of people awaits the opening of the door of the church of San Domenico Maggiore at 11.45 pm to see the Virgin descend among her people, a people praying and gathered in prayer that accompanies the brothers with the white hood lowered on their faces to witness the devotion to the Virgin of the Seven Sorrows and an unmatched concentration that will keep them company for fifteen long hours.

An experience to live that testifies to the love of a woman, of a mother, towards a Son and towards a City that remains anchored to its own religious traditions, to centuries of history and that tells of the true character of the men and women of Taranto , a passionate character, alive and certainly a lover of the Madonna. Precisely of that Madonna who, every year, on Holy Thursday night, “gives” herself to her devotees aware that her Love can give depth and true consistency to the Life.

Translated from Confraternita della S.S. Addolorata e San Domenico web site
Read about Easter Week in Puglia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *