This is Enna, the highest province of Italy, situated in the center of the Erei mountains, with commanding views of both the Dittaino valley to the east and the Salso valley to the west. If you happen to visit during holy week, you will be immersed in a mystical atmosphere, as Enna hosts a series of religious processions steeped in centuries-old Spanish traditions.
The highlight of Holy Week celebrations is Good Friday, during which approximately 2,500 hooded confreres carrying ferns of dead Jesus and Our Lady of Sorrows take part in the procession. On the morning of Good Friday, the hooded dressing ritual takes place, passed down from father to son. The friars wear the characteristic costumes of the 16 brotherhoods that still exist in Enna today. The costumes worn during the celebration are specific to each confraternity, displaying different coats of arms, colors, and capes, while still reproducing those of past centuries. Common elements include a long white coat, narrow at the sides, a cloak, white gloves, and the characteristic hood with a visor, from which the name of the hooded derives. A crown of woven wicker is also worn on the head, symbolizing the crown of thorns worn by Christ.
The solemn procession commences from the Cathedral, with the brotherhoods parading in a pre-established order, led by an authoritative representative of the clergy holding up an artistic cross surmounted by a rich red velvet curtain. The cross contains a precious relic, one of the thorns that formed part of the crown placed on Jesus’ head. Each confraternity plays a specific and unchanging role within the procession. The oldest brotherhood in Enna, established in 1261, that of the Most Holy Savior, is privileged to lead the fercolo with the Dead Christ. The confraternity of the Holy Passion, founded in 1660, leads the tables of mysteries, the 25 symbols of Christ’s passion, during the Good Friday procession.In Enna, everything is quiet during the procession, as thousands of torches placed in imposing luminous strings light up the streets at sunset. The only sounds are the waddling footsteps of the confreres and the traditional dirge known as “morì spirò”.
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Life is a journey and those who travel live twice. Omar Khayyam.