Puglia is a special region full of history and traditions, from Gargano to Salento.
Taking a trip to this place means tasting exceptional food, walking among long stretches of ancient olive trees, seeing monuments that have remained intact over time and admiring the folklore and religiousness of the population.
In this article of our blog we talk about the “Francavilla Fontana Holy Week” and its “PAPPAMUSCI”.
Puglia is the land of confraternities: the Confraternity of the Carmine, which organizes the procession of these hooded pilgrims, has settled in this land since 1677.
The Pappamusci are therefore an example of how religion has succeeded in handing down over time a series of ancient traditions that are still celebrated today in a certain period of the year.
To start living a special experience within this religious event, you must visit Francavilla Fontana during the Easter week on each year.
The Pappamusci, hooded and barefoot, proceed through the streets of the town starting on Holy Thursday until Friday morning, praying on the altars of all the churches as a sign of penitence.
Their movements are punctuated by an ancient wooden instrument with iron straps that produces a strong sound able to determine the pace of their penitence: the instrument in question is called “Trenula”.
The Trenula is a very important element during the holy week of Francavilla Fontana because it represents the religiosity of penitence and forgiveness.
The Pappamusci wear only a long white tunic with a hood (which does not allow to see the faces of the brothers) and a wooden stick, they come out as a couple at a distance of 5 minutes from each other (there are 70 couples in total during the procession of Holy Thursday) and they exchange three different greetings in front of the church altars.
A tradition that differentiates the confraternity of Francavilla Fontana from the other events that take place in Puglia in this period is definitely the “perè”.
The Perè is an ancient custom that, in a sense, explains the importance of this tradition for the inhabitants of this country.
During the night between Thursday and Friday, four representatives of the Confraternity of Carmine walk through the village going to visit, house by house, all the confreres and reminding them of the importance of prayer in a night of penance such as the pre-Easter night.
Their wandering is punctuated by the sound of four Trenule and a funeral vein played by two musicians from the town band.
This little village in Puglia is also known for the procession of PAPPAMUSCI CU LI TRAI (literally Pappamusci with wooden beams).
Large wooden crosses are carried along the village streets by numerous hooded and barefoot penitents, whose identity is unknown and through which one can imagine the suffering of Christ.
Puglia is a fantastic region because it allows you to experience folklore, genuineness, nature, history, art at any time of the year.
The Holy Week of Francavilla Fontana is certainly an example of how history is an integral part of the whole life of the Apulians.
For more information on Pappamusci you can visit the official page of the Confraternita del Carmine https://it-it.facebook.com/pappamusci/