I Misteri

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05 Feb 2013 09:00

Sicily is well known for its religious celebrations, one of the most famous is called "I Misteri”, it happens in Trapani during the Easter holy week and it represents “The passion of Christ”.

Trapani oversees the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, its strategic port was the entrance of different dominations: Arabs, Spanish, Normans, Aragoneses, French, Spanish and finally the Bourbons.

It’s known that the Spanish domination and the frequent relations with others Italian port cities brought in Sicily this traditional ceremony, which in the Iberian land was named "teatro de los misterios".

The first ceremony in Trapani dated back to the XVI century and was firstly named “Casazze”, actors and religious personalities originally represented the first ceremonies, although after many centuries, inanimate statues replaced them.

The Misteri symbolize the "Via Crucis" and are the creation of masters craftsmen from Trapani who built initially 18 sculptures with cypress wood, canvas and glue. In the XIX century were added others two representations "Jesus died in the urn" and "Lady of sorrows".

These astonishing sculptures are preserved in the Church of Purgatory in the centre of Trapani and they are constantly restructured and managed by many groups that represent different working class like, fishermen, goldsmiths, barbers, butchers, painters, shoemakers etc...

At 2.00 pm of each Good Friday’s, "I Misteri" leave the Church of Purgatory and starts the procession that will lasts for 24 hours. The members of the groups carry on their shoulders the heavy weight of "I Misteri", followed by the suggestive rhythm of funeral march played by the local folkloristic bands, passing through the narrow streets of the old town center crossing the obscurity of the night and the first lights of the sunrise.

Despite many changes happened during 500 years of history, The Procession of "I Misteri" hasn't lost the spiritual power and the deep attachment to the city, but it is carefully hand down from generations to generations.

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