Easter is of course huge for Italy’s Catholic population. In Lanciano, where we have been staying for the past week or so, Easter is a week long affair filled with socializing, shared meals, picnics, and religious processions through the streets, replete with religious artifacts, costumes and marching bands.

On Thursday night before the Easter weekend, the Churches open their doors to display “Sepulchre,” or artistic displays of Christ coming off the cross. Thursday night also kicked off a weekend of processions with a hooded march through the old districts of the city. The mood was sombre, if not a little eery, with a marching band droning in a minor key.

These shots were from that night. The interior shots were from a particularly well-done Sepulchre, and the rest are of the hooded procession.

For a small donation, the faithful can light a candle.

Folks exiting the church. I swear they had a fog machine in there.

One particularly penitent man has the honour of bearing a large wooden cross.

We ran a little wildly through the streets in order to see the procession pass a few more times. This was taken from the CCI school balcony.

The marching band followed behind.

As the procession snakes its way through the narrow streets, it picks up followers.

More of the silent followers.

After the procession, the main piazza was thronged with Liancanese visiting with each other. This was about midnight local time.