Caltanissetta the Holy Week is marked by special rites. The Holy Thursday tradition began around 1700 with the parade of the small “Vare”, called Misteri. It is similar to the mystery of “Passion of Christ”.
Over time, the procession has seen many changes in its route and the number of Statues that symbolize the Way of the Cross. Today there are 16 Statues after adding the Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows), and the Sacred Urn. These statues, made of wood and paper-mache, were created by Biangardi’s father, and son. They were commissioned by Caltanissetta’s ancient social classes (bakers, miners …), and other brotherhoods).
On Thursday evening, the “vare”, decorated in flowers and fruits, will reach the main square at sunset. They will be followed by musicians from across Sicily.
The procession continues through the historic center, stopping at the end of the night to return to Piazza Garibaldi. Here, the final act is performed: the “Spartenza”, which is the separation of the “vare”.
Caltanissetta’s Good Friday evening is a time of silence and mourning. A procession is led from the historic church “Lord of the City”, in the San Francesco district. It is the Black Christ (Black Christ), which is named after its dark color and deeply revered by all citizens.
According to tradition, the Crucifix was discovered in the same cave by two “fogliamari”, wild herb pickers. The devotion quickly spread and it became “the Lord of all the city”. Today, the “fogliamari”, who are from all classes, wear a purple tunic, and as a sign to penitence, they carry the gilded wood crown that guards the Black Christ on the shoulders. All around them, everyone tunes the , while lamentations in archaic Sicilian language.
All the masters (craftmen representatives), dressed in mourning clothes, are led by the bishop, and then the clergy, nuns and monks. A large crowd follows the Black Christ, most of them barefoot, to absolve themselves from their vows or to ask for graces.
Easter in Sinagra. Race of San Leone