The mystery of the Babbaluti by Lello Fargione

The feast established in 1612 and since then the rite has always been repeated the same: it therefore seems that for one day time has stopped its rapid flow, a solemn celebration between paganism and religiosity

The feast established in 1612 and since then the rite has always been repeated the same: it therefore seems that for one day time has stopped its rapid flow, a solemn celebration between paganism and religiosity, characterized by 33 characters (the number 33 recalls the years of Christ), hooded with blue sais, called “Babbaluti” that is “Penitents”, barefoot but with “Piruna”, heavy hand-made sheep’s wool socks.

The Babbaluti have the function of escorting the launch with Christ on the Cross and a painting depicting the Addolorata pierced by seven swords, belonging to the eighteenth century. The Babbaluti are located at the four poles of the heavy fercolo, while one of them proceeds backwards, always turning his gaze towards the Mother and the Son on the cross: all together with a cadenced step, they repeat incessantly the phrase “Signuri, mercy, pity! “…

THE BABBALUTI come out of the ancient “church of Crasile” (in which no one is allowed to enter to watch), where they have changed their clothes, wearing the sais that are returned after the ceremony: in this way these sais have been worn more and several times, for decades, always the same ones, perhaps worn by their own fathers or even grandfathers. The “Babbaluts” are not only men … but among them there are also women … (out of devotion, to ask for a grace, or to thank those who have received the grace). Sometimes they wear gloves so as not to be recognized, because no one has to know who is wearing the sais, no one has to know on the outside. Meanwhile, the Crucifix has been brought to the square in front of the Ara Coeli church … access of a secondary door of the church, called Porta Fausa (Porta Falsa), then exit the main door of the church after the necessary rite of “repentance and rebirth”, and thus arrive in front of the vara and then kneel in front of it. … with the Babbaluti carrying the heavy fercolo on their shoulders … we proceed through the streets of the town …. [Official Website]

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