An event of great interest in the province of Rieti is certainly the Good Friday procession of Contigliano, held in an appealing wood on one of the hills surrounding the Holy Valley.
The event has a long history and is widely followed by all citizens. Everything starts on the evening of Good Friday when hundreds of torches evocatively illuminate the village, in particular the high and ancient area of the village for the Procession of the Dead Christ.
The procession starts from the Collegiate Church of Saint Michael Archangel and is ideally divided into two parts: one with a religious character and one representing the Gospel stories about the last moments of Christ’s life.
The procession begins with a large cross carried by the Confraternita di Sant’Antonio followed then by the coffin of the dead Christ with the weeping Marys. In this part the brothers are hooded and the women dressed in black all parade representing the penitential groups typical of the Middle Ages.
The second part of the procession is made up of people in historical costumes representing scenes from both the Bible and the Gospel. In this group there are often groups of Roman soldiers on horseback who recall the strong local equestrian tradition of Contigliano and Cottanello.
The most important scenes take place on a stage in front of the church of Sant’Antonio and culminate with the crucifixion of the Christ.