We are now in Easter week which is one of the most significant periods in the Sicilian calendar. Every year, the atmosphere in Sicilian towns changes considerably throughout the week according to the day and its religious implications. Even the weather usually changes accordingly, with the week prior to Easter being dark and miserable only to give way to glorious sunshine on Easter Sunday. My own personal experiences of the week's events have mostly been in the town of Adrano, which is situated at the foot of Mount Etna, in the province of Catania. The processions are so elaborate and moving in this town, and they attract thousands of devotees.
Today the procession of 'Cristo alla Colonna' takes place from 6pm until 3am tomorrow morning, when the statue of Christ on the cross is carried throughout the streets of Adrano, calling in at each of the town's churches in order for the men carrying the statue to kneel at each altar. This is so emotional to watch as the statue is carried very slowly, three steps forward then two steps back, and sways from side to side.
On Good Friday from 7am until 2pm the statue of the Virgin Mary, l'Addolorata, is carried through the streets visiting each church looking for her son Jesus, and at 8pm there is the procession of 'Cristo Morto'. In dialect, this is 'U Lizzanti' and is the statue of the body of Jesus which makes four stops around the town, each time accompanied by a marching band playing the funeral song 'Canzoncina a Gesù morto'.
On Easter Sunday the sun shines bright in the sky and hundreds of families head towards the town centre to see the procession of 'Cristo Risorto' (Christ Resurrected), the Angel and of 'Maria Annunziata' (Virgin Mary).
The happiest time of the day is when the statues of Jesus and Mary finally meet and this is known as 'A Paci'. The statues are made to dance and kiss and the atmosphere in the piazza is so happy and uplifting. Adrano is renowned for 'la Diavolata', which is a theatrical production held outside in the piazza on Easter Sunday and depicts the fight between good (symbolised by angels) and evil (the devils). In the evening the town holds an incredible fireworks display.
I wish each one of you a 'Buona Pasqua' and leave you with a video in Italian showing the highlights of Easter in Adrano -
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A presto :-)