The slow passing of time has not managed to obliterate
the popular traditions in Caulonia, which, even today, manage
to impart the profound significance of the simple and religiously
conscious lifestyle that the ancestors passed on. After a week
of intense prayer, the Holy Saturday sees a singular procession
which winds through the streets of the town known as the Caracolo.
It gathers huge amounts of people each year because of its importance.
This sacred procession, whose etymology is found in the Arabic
“Karhara” meaning “to turn”, finds its roots during the time
when Italy was subject to Spanish dominion. While an oppressive
atmosphere lies over the town on the Holy Saturday, the two
arch-confraternities, that of the Immacolata and that of the
Rosario, meet in a place known as “Buveri”, from where they
depart together in order to walk the main streets of Caulonia,
accompanied by a melancholy and ornate crowd of people bearing
lighted candles. According to the ancestral meaning, this procession
consists in a careful meditation on the Passion of Jesus Christ.
The statues which are solemnly borne round the town represent
the last moments of the Son of God’s earthly life: Christ in
the Garden, Christ alla Colonna, the Ecce Homo, the Christ bearing
the cross, the Crucified Christ, Christ removed from the cross,
the Addolorata Virgin and Saint John. After a long roaming,
the interminable procession enters the main square of the town
on the opposite side of which is their destination: the Matrice
church. The crossing of the Mese square entails more than an
hour and during this time it displays a very particular choreography.
To the naked eye it seems asymmetric but in reality it is well
timed and programmed. The statues, the followers, the brothers
of the confraternity, the banners and pennants all follow behind
the brass band. After entering the church, the procession reassembles
in the square and, again walk the streets until they reach the
“Buveri” in Via Vincenzo Niutta. Here they divide into the two
initial groups, each person returning to the confraternity to
which they belong. This is the Holy Saturday in Caulonia, just
as it has been for centuries.