Good Friday procession

Easter and Spring in Liguria, among folklore, markets, fairs, many occasions to dive into the unique climate of a welcoming region twelve months a year; it is wonderful around this time of rebirth. There are plenty of opportunities for a holiday in the open air.

It is worth starting with one of the unmissable dates of the religious tradition: the Good Friday procession, which takes place in Savona every two years, and this year it takes place on Friday 6th April. Its origin can be traced back to the first festival of the medieval Brotherhoods, the public repentance floggings, accompanied by processions and songs.

Starting from the 17th century, the procession of Savona has been enriched by wooden groups depicting scenes of the life of Christ, which in time has gained other works, the last one being the 1978 Ecce Homo “palanquin”, by Renata Cuneo.

Today the Procession has moved from the narrow alleys to the wide 19th century streets of the city centre, lit at night time by the electric lights which have replaced the spellbinding - but dangerous - candles flames. The procession starts with the “Croce di Passione” (Cross of Passion), sustained by the drums’ rhythm and followed by another fourteen palanquins, carried on the shoulders; the last one is the “Arca S. Croce” (Saint Cross Ark), which contains a significant fragment of the Cross of Crist, which has a high religious value; it is accompanied by the Miserere in Latin, of the Co-Brothers and by the Clergy, guided by the Diocesan Bishop.

The numerous stops along the route are announced by the strokes of the “mazzetta” (hammer) on the beams which support the palanquins; they serve the purpose of marking the rhythm of the slow move and lightening the weight of the bearers. A unique occasion for tourists and inquisitive onlookers to get to know the sacred soul of a city worth discovering.


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