Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Procession of the Mysteries (I Misteri)

Saturday evening, before eating dinner, Angela and me went out to watch The Procession of the Mysteries (La Processione dei Misteri) in Putignano, a procession in which Angela's father participated. Life-sized statues of the stations of the cross were carried down the main street. The procession moved quite quickly and a priest recited a prayer. It was strange to see the young men interspersed in the procession holding the speakers which were broadcasting the prayer. After watching this procession, we hopped in Angela's uncle's car and drove with zio Gianni and zia Maria to Castellana to watch the procession there, which was much more impressive and more solemn.

A lone drummer led the procession in Castellana and everyone walked very slowly. There were quite a few people participating: altar boys and girls in their white robes, men from the various brotherhoods wearing their emblematic colors and carrying the statues on their shoulders, women carrying giant candles and wearing black veils over their heads. Here, no priest was uttering a prayer unless silently.

Here you can watch a small video of the end of the procession in Castellana, which finishes with the black-robed Madonna at the end of the procession following the mysteries while a band plays A Mia Madre. It was late after watching two processions, and we all returned home and had a late dinner of homemade focaccia together.

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