Holy Week - Settimana Santa

Holy Week, known as "Settimana Santa" in Italian, is celebrated with great fervor and tradition throughout Italy, including in the region of Calabria. Here's an overview of how Holy Week is typically observed in Italy and specifically in Calabria:

Palm Sunday (Domenica delle Palme)

The week begins with Palm Sunday, commemorating Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In many Italian towns and cities, including villages in Calabria, churches hold processions where worshippers carry palm fronds or olive branches, often intricately woven into elaborate designs, to be blessed by the priest.

Holy Thursday (Giovedì Santo)

On Holy Thursday, the Last Supper is commemorated. Churches hold Masses where the priest washes the feet of twelve people, symbolizing Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. In some Calabrian towns, this is followed by processions through the streets with the Eucharist, known as the "Processione del Corpus Domini."

Good Friday (Venerdì Santo)

Good Friday is a solemn day of mourning and reflection, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus. Many towns in Italy, including Calabria, hold processions featuring statues depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ. These processions often involve participants dressed in traditional robes and carrying crosses or other symbols of the Passion.

Holy Saturday (Sabato Santo)
Holy Saturday is a day of anticipation and preparation for the Easter Vigil. In Calabria, churches may hold Easter Vigil Masses that begin after sundown, often featuring the blessing of the Easter fire and the lighting of the Paschal candle.

Easter Sunday (Pasqua)

Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week and the most important day in the Christian calendar, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. In Calabria, as in the rest of Italy, families gather for festive meals featuring traditional dishes such as lamb, artichokes, and Easter breads. Many towns also hold Easter egg hunts and other family-friendly activities.

Throughout Holy Week, churches in Calabria are adorned with flowers and elaborate decorations, and religious services are well-attended by both locals and visitors. The observance of Holy Week in Italy, including Calabria, is a rich and deeply meaningful tradition that combines religious devotion with cultural heritage.