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The Rites of Holy Week in Adrano | Etna Walking Rural
The Rites of Holy Week in Adrano
15 April 2019 Daniela Moscato

The Rites of Holy Week in Adrano boast more than 250 years of tradition. La Diavolata, religious events, called I Diavulazzi di Pasqua, is the most awaited moment and takes place on Easter Sunday. The drama is represented around lunchtime and, for some years, even in the evening. The evening performance is very suggestive thanks also to the effects of artistic lighting. The celebrations of the Holy Week begin on Palm Sunday when the Via Crucis is represented by the Rosary Association. Iriti continue on Holy Thursday with the procession of Christ at the Column and Good Friday with the procession of Our Lady of Sorrows (in the morning) and that of the Dead Christ (in the evening). The Resurrection takes place the night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.


On the morning of Easter Sunday, the Diavolata, religious events called “I Diavulazzi di Pasqua”, is the most awaited moment. The drama is represented around lunchtime and, for some years, even in the evening with evocative music and plays of light. The main characters are the devils (Lucifer, leader of the rebels, Belzebù Lord of the Flies, Astarot, with his 40 legions), Death, eternal enemy of man, Humanity, symbol of hope, and Archangel Michael, adversary of the devil. The Diavolata symbolizes, in allegorical form, the eternal struggle between good and evil and ends, as is obvious, the victory of good. Before the performance the three protagonists of the drama are taken around the city: the Savior, with a red cloak, the Madonna, dressed in pink, and the Angel, dressed in a dress covered with silk ribbons and multicolored cockades. After the sacred representation, in front of the church of Maria SS. Help of Christians called St. Clare, the meeting between Mary and Jesus takes place, the so-called “Peace”. (Municipality of Adrano)


The representation is staged by local actors who pass on from father to son the ways, gestures, and verses of this historic event. The devils try to convince humanity to remain damned because the corpse of Jesus Christ, who is risen, is no longer in the tomb, but the Archangel Michael intervenes, definitively defeating Lucifer. The next is L’Angelicata, a representation that constituted the second part of Don Laudani’s drama but which has only been staged since 1980. The destination and mode of representation is not historically clear from this second part. The drama narrates the encounter between Mary and the Risen Son, who proclaims her Queen of Heaven.   Among the religious events, the Diavolata is a clear example of a mixture of pagan and Christian elements. It has remained intact over time and is therefore one of a kind, is part of the text of La Resurrezione, written in 1752 by the local poet Don Anselmo Laudani.   More information Website of Adrano