Pasqua (Easter) in Calabria: Sabato Santo Photos

And so here we are at Pasquetta (Easter Monday).

Many people down here take the day to spend with friends, relax, eat, and whatnot, but since I’m a dedicated blogger, I’ve been going through the hundreds of photos I took this past weekend. Don’t worry, I’ve also made time to relax and eat too.

For a fuller description of events, check out my previous Easter post here.

Some quick background. I had, essentially, an all access pass to the behind-the-scenes events because of P. You see, he’s been involved in this forever and directs traffic so to speak at various parts. He kept telling people I was covering the whole thing for the BBC, so you can thank him for giving me the courage to get in the way of Jesus and co.

Ahem. The photos.

Starting at about noon on Saturday, the soldiers got their gear ready.

P and I headed down to where Jesus and the other two that would be crucified were getting ready. This happened inside a cantina while the soldiers and the penitent got in position outside. I thought the grated window would be a cool shot, and just as I snapped, a soldier walked by.

Here is one of the two to be crucified alongside Jesus waiting to exit the cantina.

And here are the sinners waiting to self-flagellate.

The two to be crucified and Jesus are being led down to one of the village’s thirteen churches, from where the procession will begin.

Jesus rounding the corner to go down the path to the church.

The path to the church.

The area behind the church where Jesus is tied to the tree and beaten.

A brief pause in the festivities to give you an idea of how many people participate.

One of those people is P’s nephew Vincenzo.

After Jesus is given his cross down there, the procession moves through the village and up to another church, formerly part of a monastery. This photo is taken from my balcony and is hazy because my neighbor decided to heat his house (read: smoke got in our eyes).

From here, the procession arrives at another small church in one of the tiny vicoli, and some of the major players hand off their robes to different participants.

From there, the procession moves to yet another church, where we await the arrival of the Madonna, but not before some further punishment of Jesus.

I don’t have a photo of the arrival of the Madonna as I took it all on video, which I haven’t been able to upload. Boo.

From that church, the procession goes all the way back down to the church where everything started, and we wait for the next day’s events.

FYI, the procession of Sabato Santo takes between 8 and 9 hours.

Then on Sunday morning we have A Cumprunta where the risen Jesus is met by the Madonna. Again, I have this all on video, but here’s a shot of the two statues together.

And one of the a guy dancing while balancing his church’s flag in his mouth.

And that’s all from this pretend BBC correspondent for today.

27 Beans of Wisdom to “Pasqua (Easter) in Calabria: Sabato Santo Photos”
  1. bella

    These pictures are like, hauntingly beautiful. I hope you had a happy Easter!

  2. Erin

    Beautiful pictures. It’s neat to see how Easter is celebrated somewhere else. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Sharon

    How many people in your town? They do a Passion Play about every 5 years here but not this year. They go thru the town with mornful sounds on Good Friday. I did enjoy looking at your photos.

  4. Annika

    That Jesus figure needs a haircut.

  5. sognatrice

    Sharon, up here on the mountain, we have about 350 people; down in the marina part of the village, there’s another 3000 or so.

    Annika, Jesus and the other two have all that hair hanging in their faces so that they are anonymous–in fact, it’s a highly guarded secret as to who’s behind the hair (which is partly why it was so cool to be around while they were switching places). It’s also a highly competitive race to be one of them…there is a huge to-do every year about it 😉

  6. sarala

    What an amazing ritual to go through. You must enjoy being able to witness it. Did it feel impious taking photos during?
    The one shot of the white dressed flagellants was a bit creepy to me. Too KKK’ish maybe.

  7. goodthomas

    I love these shots, always find them so compelling. The pagentry, the movement of the crowd, the different roles, the participation of so many.

    Maybe someday I will be able to experience one, firsthand.

  8. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    wow. thanks for sharing those photos. like one of the earlier posters said, it’s interesting to see how holidays are celebrated in other parts of the world.

    I already had the initial freak out about the Klan looking robes, when Nicki in Positano posted photos from a procession in her village.

  9. cheeky

    As always, thanks for sharing. What dedication from all the participants, including that one BBC correspondant! WOW.

  10. tongue in cheek

    I wnat to go next year. What an interesting tradition to uphold. I like your comments too.
    Nine hours! How did your little nephew hold out!?
    What must one do to be Jesus?

    Joyous Easter Monday!

  11. The Other Girl

    Maybe it’s just because I’m such a filthy heathen, but your description of the events was hilarious. “And here are the sinners waiting to self-flagellate.” Hee. I hope hell is nice, because I sense I’ll be spending time there.

    You’re a really good photographer, by the way. I don’t know if I’ve said that before.

  12. Gil

    Thank you for such a positive and informative post on life in Italy. The pictures are beautiful. This reminds me of the what my daughter told me on how they celebrated Christmas in a small town East of Naples.

  13. a far away frined

    Your holiday seems more religious than anything I’ve experienced in a long time. Church is something I still participate in, but only when there is family (mother) pressure. I had some yummy homemade peanut butter, as well as coconut, easter eggs this weekend, although there was no fancy cursive pink letter on top. LUCKY DOG!!

  14. Madelyne

    Nine hours!!! wow, even though the pics look good I think I would start to get restless & bored.

    Glad you had a happy Easter

  15. Louise

    WOW those are REALLY cool pictures!! You have an AMAZING view from your balcony I am jealous!! LOL Thanks for sharing!
    I found your blog through Erin, hope you don’t mind!
    Love your blog!!

  16. anna

    Amazing. And all we do is give each other chocolate and eat like pigs.

  17. Anonymous

    Smoke or no smoke those are some wonderfully beautiful pictures.

  18. Wendy

    Thank you for sharing! It is interesting to see how others celebrate the holiday. My brother in law is Greek so I get to learn their customs as well. Great pictures! Happy belated Easter. You did a great job as the BBC reporter!

  19. The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick

    That is a fantastic photo depiction of the reenactment. So somber, yet so moving. Thanks very much for sharing. It’s nice to see the real reason for Easter isn’t so easily forgotten and hidden beneath commercialism.


  20. it's me, Val

    Soooo beautiful! I am glad I came for a visit today so I could see these 🙂 Thanks for sharing them.

  21. Catherine

    Wow, and I thought MY church had an amazing holy week! Thanks for sharing that.

    I was just talking today with someone…we were trying to remember what Europe does for the Monday after Easter…

  22. Jacinda Jay Innes

    These are great photos Sognatrice!

    Thanks for sharing them.


  23. BecsLifeOnline

    Wow this is SO awesome!!! Nothing half as good as that happens where i live 🙁

  24. Elly Rocco

    Wow! Thank you, it was like u put me there, very lucky to have you. Buona Pasqua!

  1. [...] Convento nestled among olive trees (You may remember this old monastery from the Easter procession) [......
  2. [...] Pasqua in Calabria: The Photos: Photos of the festivities on Sabato Santo and Easter Sunday. [...]...



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