Feast of the Risen Christ the King
Easter or "Uomu Vivu" party
- THE FESTIVAL OF EASTER OR OF THE "UOMU VIVU"
On Easter Sunday, the celebrations begin with the procession, through the streets of the city, of the "Venerable", the Monstrance carried by a priest, under a large four-pole canopy. At the head of the procession, a very heavy "stunnardu ", the traditional blue silk banner "... with the star embroidered in gold and a large tassel, at the tip, touching the ground, hanging from a long rod, which bends in an arc and is carried, tied to the waist, by young people, who give thus proof of their vigor. They proceed with measured steps, the shaft inserted into a leather cup, hung on the front, with a belt tightened at the hips, the torso bent back, one arm outstretched, to support the shaft; the tip of the banner crawling on the ground ". (B. Cataudella; Scicli. History and Traditions).
The "spectacular" moment of the festival is when, upon the return of the "Stunnardu", (around 13.00 pm), a crowd of young people, crowding, raise the statue of the "Living Man" on their arms and to the sound of the Hymn of Busacca, proceeds, with a forward-backward pace, from inside the church to the churchyard where the beautiful statue of the Risen Christ finally appears, and is visible up to the "plan of Cònsolo".
- Risen Christ “L'Uomu Vivu” - church of SM La Nova
The statue, which is the work of the sculptor Benedetto Civiletti, represents Christ in the likeness of a young man, with a harmonically vigorous body, covered by a golden yellow band, with a red cloak covering his neck, and behind the rays of the rising sun. , symbolize rebirth; the head is adorned with a paten, the right hand raised, blessing, while with the left he holds a blue banner, the color of the resurrection.
It is at this point that the "festival of men" really explodes, as Vinicio Capossela sang it well, after seeing the statue while "... he staggers, wobbles on the back of the crowd, and ... with his three fingers the Way seems to indicate ".
It is certainly difficult to describe, to those who have not seen this party at least once, the jubilation of the crowd, between the shouts of "Hurray" and "Gio-Gio-Gio-Giooooia! ”While flower petals rain down from the balconies as the statue passes.
The intense joy of this moment is well represented by the explosion of the artistic fireworks that, from the top of the San Matteo hill, joining the uninterrupted ringing and the cries of "JOY!" porters fill the whole valley.
The statue, supported by a thousand cheering arms advances, in a sea of crowd, always with its "wave" trend, along Via Santa M.la Nova, up to the "Cònsolo" floor, when a new and more vigorous one explodes " tapped ", "U pìttimu": (shot of large mortars, in a chain), which seems to envelop men and things in a cloud of sounds and colors.
Then the "Uomu Vivu", as it is affectionately called by the Sciclitans, proceeds to Piazza Busacca, where the part of the celebrations that close on Easter morning takes place: the porters, accompanied by the musical band, turn at a normal pace. , now fast, around the square in the center of which stands the statue of Pietro Di Lorenzo Busacca, until the fateful "last lap", (never predictable), when the porters, exhausted and at the end of their strength, are persuaded to put down the statue inside the nearby church of the Carmine.
It is at this point that on people's faces and gazes it is possible to grasp the most varied expressions: in some of jubilation and authentic joy, in others of true amazement and even, in some, of execration, for the clearly pagan connotations with which represents a party that everyone can "read" according to their own interpretative register.
In most, however, the pleasure of an extraordinary party, absolutely "Sciclitana", is evident.
Around 16 pm, the statue is carried again in procession and, upon returning, is still exposed to the admiration-veneration of visitors.
The celebrations end after midnight, in the church of Santa M. la Nova, always amidst the cheers of Gioia, the sparkle of the lights and the artistic fireworks.
The flavor of a party remains intact in which all citizenship is recognized for its multiple values: the religious one, inprimis, in its primordial source as capable of corresponding to the desire for rebirth and eternity inherent in the heart of Man; no less important is the historical-folkloristic dimension due to its unifying force; an event, finally, powerful also as a function of "Tourist attraction" and as such, it deserves to be counted among the Major Events of the Regional Calendar and registered with the REI -Registro della Eredita'Immateriali.
Source: Municipality of Scicli - Promotion and Tourist Information Office
Technical sheet prepared by: Region of Sicily - Department of cultural heritage and Sicilian identity - CRicd: Regional center for inventory, cataloging and documentation and Sicilian regional film library