Friday, April 6

late

Of course a downside to living in a tourist resort is that when everybody else in the world is on holiday you have to work. An extra half hour in bed is a wonderful and very special thing to me, so I have become an expert at inventing excuses as to why I am late for work every now and then. Luckily for me I do not often need to use my excuses because the guy I work for rarely gets out of bed before lunchtime!

I was very late for work this morning but I think you will find I had a valid excuse. As I made my way down towards the beach I found the road blocked by this scary sight:

I wan't going to try and push past them so I waited. After a while these guys came past:

Followed by many many people holding candles and chanting. I waited patiently, watching as Skye stared wide eyed at the passing procession, then as the last hoodies passed by I went on my way.

11 comments:

  1. Okay I get the whole procession thing and the cross and even the Roman soldier, but why are they hooded?

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  2. It's a little scary for an American to see these guys because they look like a group of racists that we have out here called the Ku Klux Klan. I hope you weren't too late for work!

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  3. anon - when I first saw the photo it freaked me out too. The hoods, the cross. Goes to show how powerful images are.

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  4. There's a very long and respected tradition behind those hooded guys. All throughout Southern Italy there's a tradition of Confraternities that go back to the late middle ages. They were started as benevolent societies to bury the dead, care for the infirmed, etc. and the hoods were worn so that the acts of piety and charity would remain annonymous. In the post reformation period, they took on elements of the baroque, much under the tutelage of the Jesuits, and began elaborate processions in honor of the events of Holy Week. The tradition came much from Spain which ruled southern Italy at the time. These are beautiful events that mean the world to the people who participate in them. I have friends in Italy who do as such. Niki, with all due respect, you live there, you know what these things are and how much they mean to the local people, and I don't think it was really necessary to paint these images as a "Scary Sight" when you know there are a lot of people out there, especially Americans who might get the wrong idea. Anyway Buona Pasqua everybody.

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  5. Thanks for the explanation Pat. Yeah, kind of strange looking for Americans.

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  6. Pat, thanks for the explanation! No offense, but please understand that even for me, who's not American, the first thought to pop up in my head when I saw those costumes were Ku Klux Klan, and KKK are definitely scary. Easter bunnies, clowns and Santa's aren't supposed to be scary either but they can be for anyone who doesn't know what's going on... :)

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  7. I know everyone would freak out at the pic.
    I grew up here and as a child they scared me very much, I remember when my brother used to dress up I woudl cry...but growing up I understood the ancient meaning and deep sentiment behind the hoods. It is the total opposite of KKK!

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  8. You are a brave woman in that
    scary scary town!

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  9. Looks like a KKK event from the 1960's in the Southern USA. I actually saw one like this in the 1990's in our small Texas town. What's the hood significance?

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  10. The hoods, really distort the figure, heightening the anonymity. It makes it difficult to have any clue of who is who, as opposed to a mask that would only cover the face. The hoods and the rest of the outfit came from Spain, like I said earlier. Should you google semana santa sevilla, you will see the same outfits as used in Spain, but they are even more grandiose there. I am glad that you people got to learn something new through this discussion. It is the beautiful thing about the internet that we all get to share. Thanks.

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  11. The description pat gave is correct, although these confraternities exist in Umbria and Toscana (Tuscany) as well as Southern Italy and probably throughout the country. They are generally called Misericordia, which means "Mercy" in Latin and Italian. As pat said, they wear the hoods so they can do charitable work and remain anonymous

    Like pat, I am surprised that niki lives in Italy but doesn't know about the customs after all these years. I just commented on her post about Epiphany, since she didn't know the meaning of what she was seeing.

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