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  • Day9

    Mystery Solved

    April 9, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    The other day I posted a couple of photos of what appeared to be a nun that was seemingly hung by the neck and put on public display. Well, it seems the worst is yet to come for this poor creature: she will be lit on fire at noon on Easter Sunday!

    As it turns out, even though we are in the deep south, there are no lynchings going on here.

    The old woman is known as La Caremma, which translates to English as Lent. She is created to look like a witch, and she represents all that is evil. She is hung out on the first day of Lent and an orange, with seven capon feathers stuck into it, is placed below her feet. One feather is removed on each of the following Sundays leading up to Easter when, at noon, she is lit on fire or blown to pieces with fireworks to complete her exorcism and purification.

    The most devout Catholics here will continue the purification at home by opening their doors and saying, "Essi tristu e fanne trasire Cristu" (Out with evil, in with Christ). And then they all sit down to Easter dinner and the end of their forty day fast.

    La Caremma also represents the symbol of waiting. For weeks she hangs from the gallows in the crossroads of the streets for all to see, but above all to despise her because she is so ugly and horrible.

    Her black dress makes her even more disturbing, especially to children, in whom she inspires terror and fear. Easter Sunday is anticipated as the day of liberation, the day when the old witch will no longer be visible and can no longer cause harm (if only in the imagination) to anyone.
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    Really enjoying you posts Roch. You've probably been told this before, but you're a really talented writer!! Great description and story telling!! This is an interesting thing they do and seems rather ritualistic with the witch and burning....reminds me of voodoo. Very unlike christianity.


    whoops, up there was me, Mabel :).


    up there meaning what I wrote, not the witch that's hanging up there!!! LOL!!!