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Misteri Trapani

27 Mar

The Processione dei Misteri di Trapani is a day-long passion procession featuring twenty platforms of lifelike wood, canvas and glue sculptures of individual scenes of the events of the Passion of Christ. The Misteri are amongst the oldest continuously running religious events in Europe, having been performed every Good Friday since before the Easter of 1612, and running for at least 16 continuous hours. In Trapani, the procession runs 24 hours.

We were fortunate to view the procession from our balcony.

Every group in the procession is represented by a local tradesmen/craftsmen, e.g., fishermen, tailors, carpenters. Each carries a scene with statues and is usually accompanied by a marching band as well was flag bearers, candle holders, etc.

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There can be as many as 12 men in front and another 12 in back, and they link arms with each other to maintain balance.

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Our position was about one hour into the procession, with 23 more hours to go.

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Truly, there was a cast of thousands involved.

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The movement of the statues requires incredible coordination and stamina, and it was evident it was quite an honor among the carriers.

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Each team is responsible for its own decorations and costumes and raises funds well in advance.

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The bands come from the various provinces around Trapani.

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As the lit urn passed, the mood was quite solemn.

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If you look carefully, you can see the body of Christ in the urn.

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A candle lit procession preceded Our Lady of Sorrows.

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Here are two short videos I took with music that really represents the tone and mood of the procession. The swaying is part of the pageantry, and the clapper you hear is what is used to stop and start the movement of the platforms, which happens about every 30 to 50 feet.

The day before the procession, we were able to see all of the life-size statues as the final preparations were made at the Church of the Purgatorio.

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As you can imagine, it was quite a spectacle to behold.

Best wishes and Happy Easter. Auguri e Buona Pasqua!

Judy

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