The Good Friday Procession, I Misteri di Trapani
The ancient tradition of I Misteri di Trapani
Hotel San Michele was born between the walls of an historical residence, where are kept the wooden statues which are the protagonists of one of the oldest religious processions of Italy: I Misteri of Good Friday.
This is a unique opportunity to live an experience where an event is not only a simple religious moment, but represents the territory identity. La processione dei Misteri, with its four centuries of history, is considered the longest religious manifestation after La Sagra di Sant'Efisio.
This tradition, like others connected to Easter, is linked to the history of the territory, when in those days was also celebrating the end of Winter and the coming of Spring. This moment of resurrection, during the time, has joined with the tradition and faith. In Trapani the Easter rappresent the beginning of a new year, with a Spring that looks like Summer.
But let's go back to the event. In the first half of XV century, the Confraternity of "Preziosissimo Sangue" (today know as Confraternity of San Michele) started the construction of the first statuary groups, with some artists from Trapani. The time of groups building is not sure and to find an official start date we have to look at the oldest concession: in 20 April 1612 the group "Ascesa al Calvario" was given to the poor "jurnateri". It is just between the same walls which today host the Hotel, that started the history and the tradition. The scenographic representation of Misteri has a more medieval setting and less of the Roman occupied Palestine feel. We can see it in the uniforms of Spanish Soldiers or in the pahaches.
The oldest "vare" (wagons) were carved by Trapani's artisans, with raffigurations of putti, symbols of belonging class or Trapani's landscapes, but the most masterful work its in their decorations, made in silver, gold and coral. These decorations were commissioned from the beginning of procession and entrusted to the skilled workers for maintenance for the Good Friday. To perform the precious objects were called the most famous masters in silver working of Trapani. The silverware and precius objects, in the other days of the year, are kept by leader console of every single group and only a few days before polished with a traditional ritual. It is generally one of the consols to "dress" the group.
The "dress" is one of the most important moment of the preparations of the groups and happens at the same time of the floral decoration.