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  • Writer's pictureSu Guillory

Easter Traditions: Settimana Santa in Calabria

As the arrival of spring breathes new life into the picturesque landscapes of Calabria, another eagerly anticipated event unfolds: Settimana Santa, or Easter Week. This sacred time holds deep religious significance for the residents of this enchanting region, where age-old traditions blend seamlessly with vibrant celebrations to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Religious Observances

Settimana Santa in Calabria is a time of devout reflection and solemn observance, with churches across the region hosting a myriad of religious ceremonies and processions. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, believers gather to commemorate the final days of Jesus' life, participating in rituals that have been passed down through generations.


One of the most iconic events is Naca in Davoli. While other villages hold their own Naca processions to mourn the death of Christ the Friday before Easter, Davoli is the only town where the procession is accompanied by dozens of pine trees covered in handmade paper lanterns.



There's also la cunfrunta, a procession that reenacts the crucifixion of Jesus in towns like Badolato and Stilo. Visitors follow Jesus as he drags a cross and is beaten by Romans, played by skilled actors.


Culinary Delights

No Easter Week in Calabria would be complete without indulging in the region's rich culinary traditions. As families come together to break bread and share in the spirit of fellowship, tables are adorned with an abundance of mouthwatering delicacies.




Traditional dishes such as pitte cu' nipite (sweet hand pies), cudduraci (sweet Easter bread), and agnello al forno (roast lamb) take center stage, each symbolizing renewal, abundance, and the joy of the season.


Community Celebrations

Beyond the confines of church walls and family homes, Easter Week in Calabria is also a time for vibrant community celebrations that bring people together in a spirit of joy and camaraderie. Town squares come alive with colorful processions, live music, and cultural performances, creating a festive atmosphere that resonates with the warmth and hospitality for which Calabria is renowned.


Whether attending religious services, savoring traditional dishes, or partaking in communal festivities, Easter Week in Calabria offers a time-honored opportunity to embrace the region's rich cultural heritage and celebrate the promise of renewal and hope that Easter brings.

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