The Procession of the Misteri di Trapani
The Procession of the Misteri di Trapani

The Procession of the Misteri di Trapani is an event that has been repeated for over 400 years, a religious event with Spanish origin, one of the oldest in Sicily where tradition and history are mixed with Sicilian handicrafts.

Twenty-four hours of procession along the streets of the city, crowded with curious, faithful, ... in a mixture of hot wax, incense and fresh flowers, sad moments and loud voices of children ... a peculiar sound characterize the entire procession.

Mysteries are twenty artistic representations, each of which represents a scene of Christ's passion and have been made by local artists in canvas, wood and glue and resting on a wooden base. The Vare, that is their name, are entrusted to the trades and are decorated for the occasion with splendid compositions of flowers and silver objects, and from 1600 to today, except for some interruption, they are carried on each Holy Friday .

Originally the Sacred Groups were only six while today we can admire eighteen more and two simulacra of Dead Jesus and the Mother Mary.

The oldest among them is the Ascent to Calvary, which in 1612 was entrusted to the category of workers per day.

At the beginning, the procession was followed by the singers, while at the end of 1800, these were replaced by music bands. The maestrances did not carry the Groups anymore but the task was entrusted to others by remuneration.

As every year everything starts at 2 pm on Friday. Groups come out one by one from the Church of the Holy Antones of Purgatory among the wings of the faithful who are liable to follow them at least for a part of the entire procession.

Younger and lesser people carry heavy Vare on their shoulders, while burdensome funeral marches are banned by music bands and will proceed between an anniversary and the other until they return to the Church.

But it is the night, the most intense and exciting moment of the Procession of Mysteries, when the dim light of the small streets of the center transforms the weary faces of the bearers, the glow of the candles makes the shades of silver and only the sparkles mark the times of the long path , giving the rhythm to the pace of the people who, for curiosity or a spiritual need, decided to follow them all night.

Saturday's dawn surprises the mysteries near the fishing port, in a highly suggestive scenario, bands return to their funeral march and people return to follow the Vare after a few hours of rest.

Meanwhile, the small square in front of the church of Purgatory begins to crumble into a crowd waiting for hours one of the most exciting moments of the procession: the entrance to the Church.

The Madonna's simulacrum under a rain of rose petals, the moving and liberating bearer’s tears and the applause felt by all those present are an image that remains imprinted in the heart. The Gate closes behind the last bearer and waits for the next Holy Friday.


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