Easter in Modica, Sicily: A Mother & Child Reunion

April 2, 2010

Easter morn in Modica: The resurrected Christ threads his way through back alleys, seeking, seeking. The black-shrouded Virgin comes forth, searching, searching.

Black Madonna in Modica on Easter Morning, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

High noon: Bells peal. Mobs mill. Families hang from balconies. Mother and Son reunite. Her black mantle slips off to reveal a cape the color of a Sicilian sky. Wooden arms swing open. Doves fly. Statues kiss.

Easter Celebration in Modica, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

12:05: The crowd, warmed by the spectacle and the Easter sun, kisses, too. Then home they go to the family extravaganza to fatten themselves on ricotta ravioli, Easter lamb pies, sweet breads, salads, marzipan lambs, ricotta-rich cassata, and everything else you can think of.

Watching the Easter Celebration in Modica, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Buona Pasqua!

Have you seen a moving Easter tradition in Sicily or elsewhere?

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8 comments to Easter in Modica, Sicily: A Mother & Child Reunion

  • A Sguondru – the Sicilian Word For “Incontro”
    When the Madonna sees Jesus.

  • In 2007 when I turned 50, my family and I took a tour of the entire Island. It was Easter week and stayed in Ragusa. That night we witnessed an easter tradition. It may have been Holy Thursday. It was amazing to watch.

  • Unfortunately, I have yet to see any Easter traditions in Italy.I had asked my boyfriend if they were holding anything in Urbino for Easter, but he didn’t know because he’s not interested in those types of things like I am. I did, however, get to see the Festa della Madonna, which is held at the end of May, in Apricena, Puglia. Apricena is located in Foggia, and is a really small town. I featured it on my blog, if you’re interested in reading about it.

  • Kathleen Coelingh

    A Sicilian wooden puppet troupe is going to perform in San Francisco
    next month.

    • Jann

      Hmm. I didn’t know there was a traveling Sicilian puppet troupe. It’s a dying art in Sicily…

  • Anthony J. Zangara

    Buona Pasqua. Sei in Sicilia per la festa? Spero di si perche’ le tradizioni sono bellissime. Antonio

    • Jann

      Grazie, Antonio. Purtroppo, non sono in Sicilia questa Pasqua. (Ci vado a maggio per 5 mese!)

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