What do they do in Scicli for Easter

Scicli is one of the baroque jewels of Southeastern Sicily, chosen among others as the city to shoot the Montalbano series. Here during Easter holidays takes place the Alive Man Fest, a traditional parade to celebrate the resurrection of the Christ, affectionately called gioia (joy).

At the climax of Holy Week, on Easter Sunday is celebrated the Resurrection of Christ, here simply called the Alive Man. The wooden statue of Christ, the eighteenth-century work attributed to Civiletti and usually hosted in the Church of Santa Maria La Nova, is carried on a parade through the streets of the city and made sway and dance as a sign of joy for the whole day until late at night. Recently the singer-songwriter Vinicio Capossela has dedicated a song (Inno alla Goia) to this particular town fest.

The procession starts at eleven o’clock from the church of Santa Maria la Nova. The tail of the processional march is not yet out of the church when a numerous group of young people takes possession of the Risen Christ statue repeatedly shouting all together: Joy! Joy! Joy!

Thus began a chaotic ritual fascinating and sublime. For over an hour, inside the church, they continue to raise the statue, making it sway laterally, forward, backward, always shouting in chorus: Joy! Joy! Joy! It is impressive to witness, something truly unique.

Then frantically the statue gets carried through the streets of Scicli. Between the church of Santa Maria La Nova and the Carmine church, procession stops and starts frequently, come back and then stops to watch the spectacular rounds of the simulacrum. Around the crowd screams and celebrates the Christ proceeds under a rain of flowers thrown from the balconies.

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