Good Friday

(Click thumbnail photos, to enlarge)

I’d seen photos and a short video Elizabeth had taken of Good Friday in Cianciana: stark, passionate, foreign,  familiar — it encapsulated & encompassed all those contradictions. It still does.

At first, it was just great fun. Outside the town’s biggest market, I finally saw the drummer I’d been hearing for a couple weeks. A few locals started lining  up, and cars (and the recycling truck) rushed to get down Corso Vittorio Emanuale  before everything began in earnest.

I followed the soldiers down to the clocktower, but they disappeared, so I ran back to the piazza, arriving  just in time for the “Jesus or Barabbas” scene (below). The townspeople, some in costume, many not, began to get into it, and so did I,  as an Observer, although here is the truth: by the time Pilate got his answer  from the crowd that third time, I was starting to feel like a guilty bystander.

Later, from the 3rd-floor terrace of Daffodils (“Best seat in town!”),  I looked down on robed  townspeople  (singing a Lamentation), Roman soldiers, 2 thieves, and Jesus.

Gésu carrying his Cross up

Jesus carrying his Cross up the stairs, headed towards  Monte Calvario

The two prisoners, following Jesus up to Calvario.

The two other prisoners, following Jesus up to Monte Calvario.


Once up the stairs, it was just a matter of navigating the streets leading to up (way up) to Calvario.

There were moments of comic relief. In one, costumed kids who had been standing around for 30 minutes nearly missed their cue.

Kids, just in time.

Kids, just in time.

Safe, con il papa

Safe, con papa

At the top, we stood and watched, something I don’t have 1,000 words to describe, so will yield again to pictures (that’s Gaetano from Bar S. Antonio)

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