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Rite of blood

An ancestral and rare rite still on, in a small town (Nocera Terinese) down the southern Italy, it speaks about the strong faith and belief to Jesus Christ that keep people representing the crucifixion and his death calvary on the good Friday’s night and all day long on the holy Saturday. The event starts at the beginning of the evening with a procession following the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows - a "Pietà" built in the XVII century - in the main street of the town. Making his way throughout the crowd, the Vattiente (flagellant) appears in front of the statue followed by his "Ecce Homo" and starts to hit himself with a cork disc in which there are inserted thirteen glass splinters (representing Jesus, the Apostles and Judas) causing blood spill. The wounds are constantly washed through the way with wine. The Vattiente perform the rite for various reasons including: a sign of devotion, to fulfill a vow, to feel closer to Jesus, to revive the memory of ancestors, and during it he makes several stopover in front of the town churches and in the doorways of families and friends' houses. It’s believed that in the days after the rite will rain a lot to wash out all the blood spilled on the streets of the town.
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