The blood of Nocera


An ancient catholic ritual named “Rito dei vattienti” (rite of the hitters) where devout flagellate themselves in the streets.

On Saturday before Easter, the men who partecipate in rite, hit their legs with a piece of cork that they call “cardo” (thistle) covered with thirteen shards of glass. They start to hit themselves and blood coming out from the wounds is soaked a piece of cork smooth that they call “rosa” (rose). Then they leave the imprint on the houses of people who help them trying to disinfect the wounds with wine boiled with herbs. The “acciomu” (dialect word comes from the Latin Ecce Homo) usually played by a boy dressed in a red cloth, representing Jesus after the scourging, when he was mocked, dressed with a crown of thorns and the cloak on his shoulders.
The blood mixed with wine, remains on the walls and on the streets of the village until the rain erase the traces.

Nocera Terinese, Calabria, Italy.