A Mysterious Celebration
Procida's Good Friday Procession
Many Italian towns and villages hold traditional celebrations on Good Friday - the small island of Procida is no exception.
What makes Procida's Processione dei Misteri unique, aside from its ancient history (the first parade took place in 1627), is its strong community participation: over a third of the island's population takes part in the procession, overwhelming the tiny streets and neighbourhoods with a dense crowd.
A fascinating three-hour long parade, the processione follows a specific sequence - same as the one followed over the last centuries.
After the commencement trumpet is played, flags representing the various religious brotherhoods are carried in parade, followed by the "misteri" - floats representing scenes from the Bible, carried by local youths.
A curiosity: in the last few years, floats have also been created to represent modern themes, including the terror of drug use.
The floats are then followed by flower girls and by small babies dressed in black, carried by their fathers. The statue of Mary in Mourning precedes the statue of the Dead Christ, carved by Carmine Lantricene in 1728, which closes the parade.
Introduced on the island by the religious brotherhood of the Turchini, the parade is perhaps one of the most evocative events on Procida; if you're on the island on Good Friday, don't miss out on this historical procession filled with dense and ever-current metaphors.
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