Vasa Vasa (Kiss, Kiss/Cheek To Cheek)
On Easter Sunday morning in the town of Modica in southeast Sicily, there are two processions. One set of bearers carries a statue of the Risen Christ and the other one of the Virgin Mary clad in back. They are carried around the town’s main street, Corso Umberto, until they meet. The Virgin is so enthusiastic to see her son that she throws off her black robes to reveal a celestial blue cloak and red dress. Her arms move from her side to open in embrace, as she leans forward she plants two kisses, Italian style – in Sicilian dialect the ‘Vasa Vasa’ – to the sound of a brass band, church bells and fireworks. The Virgin is overcome with joy and confetti bursts forth from her golden crown. Doves are released in the air as a symbol of peace.
Location: Modica, Ragusa, Sicily
Date: Easter Sunday 31 March