The main event of the Holy Week of Verbicaro is the rite of Vattienti, held on Holy Thursday night. It may fall into the category of flagellation rites, a sacrificial practice and penitential archaic.
The rite of Verbicaro’s Vattienti goes back to a period when a spontaneous form a religious practices in which physical pain played a fundamental rule was very common.
The first documentation of Vattienti ritual dates back to 1473. After a very large period in which this kind of ritual was considered not congruent to the official catholic system in the 70’s of the twentieth century this collective expression got back to its ancient glory. So Vattienti succeeded in the challenge to enter well and alive in the XXI century.
The reasons that live up the Vattienti performance are basically two: the vote for favors received and the will to perpetuate a collective tradition that is based on reasons and details and confidential codes.
Although we can not speak openly of ‘Procession of Vattienti’ (every Vattiente has his rhythm and the paths taken by the protagonists may differ), the local night of Holy Thursday is divided into well-defined moments.
The first of them is the Mass in Cena Dominiche, which takes place in the main church of Verbicaro.
After that we proceed to visit the Tomb of the various churches.
Then people start to sing a ancestral songs in the streets of the town.
After that begins the feast of Vattienti preparing exit into the street.
Once the Vattienti paid tribute to local delights by eating and drinking local products they, wearing red clothes and red handkerchief, get to the street followed by Spruffaturi (those who throw wine on their wounds), and circulate for the old village until they reach a public fountain to wash out the blood that covers them.