The Mysteries of Taranto: tradition, identity and passion

Holy Week in Taranto is the core itself of the city manifested with secular rites that are rooted in the heart of the community.

Holy Week in Taranto is the core itself of the city manifested with secular rites that are rooted in the heart of the community.

Taranto, a city of contrasts and divisions, finds in Holy Week a moment of unparalleled unity and sharing, a sense of collective belonging and participation. The 2 processions, that of Our Lady of Sorrows and that of the Mysteries, are the culminating events of a series of rites involving the entire city.

The ancient confraternities and preparation

The confraternities of Carmine and Addolorata of Taranto begin the preparation for Holy Week with the Quarantore and the Via Crucis, but it is Palm Sunday that marks the beginning of the celebrations, with races between between the brothers for the award of the statues and symbols of the processions to the Tomb.
These rites are not only tradition, but also a vital source of sustenance for the 2 confraternities, who actively work in social assistance for needy families, with the distribution of meals offered by the Carmine canteen.
The financial aspect, often criticized, turns out to be the engine of a joint action that permeates the entire community.

The rites of Taranto and their deep roots in the soul of the city

It is a tradition that is constantly renewed, involving the younger generations and adapting to changes without losing its essence. The opening to schools for the dissemination of rites and the enhancement of the musical heritage are tangible examples.
The processions themselves are a unique experience, wih their slow and rhythmic pace, the "nazzicata", which conveys a sense of recollection and penance. The confreres, hooded and barefoot, carry on their shoulders carefully restored statues, dating back to 1765, witnesses of centuries of devotion and tradition.

Profound devotion in the provinces of southern Italy

In the heart of southern italian provinces, faith is manifested with an ancient and palpable intensity. In addition to Taranto, other centres such as Pulsano, Castellaneta, Mottola and Grottaglie live the Holy Week with a devotion that has been handed down for centuries.

  • In Pulsano, the thousand-year procession of the Mysteries tells the scene of the Passion of Christ trhough ancient wooden statues.
  • In Castellaneta, the Holy Saturday Dawn procession carry on religious fervour with solemnity and respect.
  • The confraternity of the Carmine of Mottola, founded in 1701, venerates the Mysteries of the Passion of Christ, witnessing the continuity of a centuries-old tradition.
  • In Grottaglie, Holy Thursday is marked by the "bubbli bubbli", hooded penitents who live their devotion with simplicity and humbleness.

In these lands, faith is expressed through symbolic gestures and ancient rituals, handed down from generation to generation. Each procession, each rite, tells a story of deep devotion, interwoven with the life and culture of local comunities.

The rites of Taranto and its province represent a beacon of stability and unity

The Holy Week in Taranto is a palpable expression of the identity and passion of a community that is continually renewed without forgetting its roots.

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