|View of Calascibetta from Enna|
|Little girls in procession dressed as saints/nuns|
Never completely sure what to expect from these events, we wandered around the city, finally finding the information office and picking up some brochures with the program of events for the week's processions. Interestingly, each one seemed to have a slightly different explanation of what would take place, when and where and we felt still a bit confused about where to position ourselves for the best view point. We missed the first procession of the day - our information said it began at noon when really it started earlier and by the time we found the place, it was over!
|The men, as penitit (penitents)|
|Even the very little boys are penititi|
I must admit that those in the procession do seem very solemn with a surprising number of young boys also taking part. The number of "brothers" is said to be in the thousands. The only female presence, with the exception of the grieving Madonna, are very little girls - 5 or 6 years old, dressed as nuns in white, black or brown habits with rosary beads etc., walking with their hands pressed together in a prayerful pose. They are really adorable to see, even if it seems a bit strange. Some of these tiny kids really know how to look appropriately solemn!
I have to say we noticed a genuine absence of solemnity among many of the observers, however, as they jockeyed for the best viewing place, stepped in front of other people to take photos, including walking in front of and around the "brothers," talked loudly among themselves and in general didn't seem to be exactly "saying their penance and standing in spiritual silence" as described in our brochures but perhaps we were just not in the right spot.
We also know why everyone thinks we are German. The city was filled with German tourists and at one point, earlier in the day, German was the dominant language spoken by the crowd around us!
Once the procession passed us by and we met up with Elio's brothers and their wives, Marinella and Rosalba, we visited a few of the churches which were open and were even, due to Rosalba's request of the caretaker, permitted to enter one of the churches that surely would have been closed to us. This was the church of San Salvatore, ancient, lovely with plaster-carved statues of the apostles decorating the interior and an elaborately carved, wooden ceiling. The gentleman who let us in also allowed us in into an inner room to see the ancient crucifix and the vestments in the drawer of an intricately painted cabinet.
After thanking this generous man for his time we stopped and bought some sandwiches and ate them while walking through the medieval streets, lit by torchlight. Since we had arrived before noon that day we had a pretty good parking place close to centro. Unfortunately they had a longer walk in the opposite direction so we said our goodbyes and made our way to our vehicles for the 2 or so hour's drive back to Ragusa. At this hour of the night there was not much traffic. But by the time we got home, we were completely exhausted and decided that Saturday would be a day of rest for us!
Rosemary e Bob
Happy Easter to everyone celebrating the holiday.