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THE CORSICAN PROCESSION

"U CATENACCIU"

Sartene, one of the largest villages in France and “the most Corsican of Corsican towns” on the island as the famous French writer Prosper Merimee described it, is known worldwide because it hosts the procession known as Catenacciu. It is a nocturnal procession which takes place every year, on Good Friday representing the moments before the Crucifixion of Jesus.

The main penitent wears a red hooded monastic style coat and his identity is strictly hidden, only the priest knows who he is. During the procession he must carry a 37 kilogram cross and a 17 kilogram metal chain attached to his ankles, helped by a penitent in white, representing Simon of Cyrene, the man who was compelled by the Romans to carry the cross of Jesus. The two are followed by eight other penitents in black and surrounded by the members of the brotherhood. All of them are barefoot and remake the path known as the Stations of the Cross. This is a medieval tradition typical for the South of the Mediterranean and which is followed today only in a few places like Sartene, Corte, Bisinchi in Corsica and some villages in Spain.

 

The main penitent waits sometimes for years and years to be selected from a very long list of names, all members of the community, exclusively men, whose hope is to have their sins absolved once they accept to suffer this enormous physical and mental effort.

 

The secrecy surrounding the identity of the main penitent generates a lot of interest for the event and people from all Corsican regions come to Sartene to participate to the procession along with many visitors arriving on the island for the Easter holidays.

 

The importance people give to this event testifies once more the strong faith which characterizes this part of the world. This old religious tradition with origins in the 13th Century, seems to defy time and all the changes brought upon the social and religious life of Corsican people.

 

Miss Carrington is pleased to help you to organize  a stay to disover and assist at this incredible and emotional tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

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When to go:
Every year, on Good Friday

Length
1 night

Accommodation
3 stars hotels and Bed&Breakfast

Type
Religious procession
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