Holy Week as popular tradition of the islands of Ischia and Procida

mistery of ProcidaHoly week is rich in emotional moments to evoke the human passion of Jesus. The rites accompany the catholic liturgy and contribute to pass on and affirm even more the Christianity. Songs, performances, scenic representations that help the visitor to know the island tradition.

It’s worth moving to the neighbouring island of Procida, and just there we find the hundred-year-old Procession of the dead Christ and the Misteri of the Good Friday promoted by the congregation of Turchini. Thisprocessionshows figurative representations of the Jesus’ life through characteristic floats (the Misteri) along the streets of the island. The Good Friday begins after the procession of the ‘Apostoli’ on Thursday evening, at night when the people of the island wake up. The guys finish the Misteri, the women prepare traditional clothing, the curious persons peek at the street doors, comment on the event to compare. In the first daylight the ‘Cristo Morto’ and ‘Addolorata’ go to Terra Murata. This is the moment, for who stays on the fortress, to keep silence, to stop nailing, screaming…it’s Good Friday, it’s the moment to put on the white dress, the hood, the blue mantle and to show own personal reading of the passion of Christ on the streets. In the background, a heartbreaking sound of trumpet and drum represents the signal of the ‘a chiammat’, (the call).

The ‘procession of the dead Christ and Misteri on Good Friday’ is becoming a feast that lasts 60 days instead of only one. Not only for the duration of the performance, but also before ( in progress) and after (in exposition) the procession can be admired for its works of art realized with fantasy of the promoter group of the biblical episode.

Another important event, of Ischia, is the manifestation Actus Tragicus. Original holy drama dedicated to the death and passion of Jesus, the representation was realized by San Francesco d’Assisi in 1111 this is represented on the streets of Forio in 1982 thanks to the initiative of willing young. The actors wear costumes realized by an artisan, and across the streets of the country, from Municipio square to Piazza Colombo where the performance begins.

The show, very suggestive, ends with the crucifixion of Jesus and the two thieves in the little square of the church ‘Il Soccorso’.

Finally two important events close the celebrations:the Angel’s run and the ‘ndrezzata’ of Buonopane. The Angel’s run at Easter in Forio is an ancient tradition of the 17th century. It’s a holy demonstration where the Virgin Mary meets her risen son. It’s promoted by Arch confraternity of Forio, guardian of the four statues that are carried on shoulders in the procession, according to an ancient tradition passed down from father to son. It’s a tradition that belongs to everyone, fishermen, peasants who, after the song Regina Coeli contend for the plume of white ostrich. But the most emotional act is the Madonna without veil: the magic moment when the Virgin Mary runs toward her son who believes lost forever.

The ‘ndrezzata’ of Buonopane, on Easter Monday, is not linked to the Christ’ resurrection but is symbol of a moment of peace and the end of hostility among people of Barano and Buonopane. In the 16th century, a fisherman from Barano is said to have given her girlfriend a coral necklace, but the same necklace was founded in the hands of a young guy from Buonopane. The following conflict involved in it people of the two districts, Buonopane and Barano. After bloody conflicts, the peace was established at the foot of the Madonna della Porta statue, in the church of San Giovanni Battista, on Easter Monday. Since this moment, on Easter Monday and on June 24th this popular dance is dedicated to the patron San Giovanni Battista.

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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
  • Inhabitants: 58.029

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