Sicily’s Easter processions and celebrations are the most famous in Italy. They are the legacy of the 17th century Spanish domination of the island, and still bear a close resemblance to current Easter traditions in Spain.
“I Misteri” procession, in Trapani, represents the most important traditional event of the year for the local community, attracting many of visitors.
The roots of this tradition can be traced directly back to Spain. During the XVII century, the brotherhood â€œConfraternita del Preziosissimo Sangue di Cristoâ€, that existed in Spain since the XV century and was founded in Trapani in 1602, commissioned local artists to create statues representing various moments of the passion of Christ.
The brotherhood, that was later merged with the preexisting Confraternita di San Michele, is now known as the Confraternita di San Michele Arcangelo. Over the years, the costs and difficulties of taking care of the statues and the organisation of the procession called for the involvement of the local Maestranze (working categories such as grocers, fishermen, bakers, butchers, etc.) that took on an increasingly predominant role over the years.
The Maestranze organised the Holy Friday procession and each one of them was responsible for a specific statue of the Misteri. Even today, each maestranza is identified with a Mistero and often the statue is called with the name of the maestranza itself. For example, the statue representing the Deposition scene is taken care of by the Tailors and represents them.