Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dance of the Devils

Abballu Di Li Diavuli
On Easter Sunday morning, in the small Sicilian town of Prizzi near Palermo, two locals don gruesome red, metal masks and red robes to disguise themselves as devils, joined by another masked local dressed in yellow representing Death in a ritual that dates to medieval times. They walk through the town offering money and sweets in an attempt to tempt as many people as possible and transport their souls to hell. However, their plans are thwarted in the early afternoon when they encounter statues of the Virgin Mary and the Risen Christ in a procession escorted by two angels holding swords. The meeting between good and evil is known as the ‘Dance Of The Devils’ because the devils and dance around to avoid meeting the Christ and the Virgin. Good triumphs over evil when the statues of the Virgin and Christ meet, and the angels defeat the devils.
Location: Prizzi, Palermo, Sicily
Date: Easter Sunday 31 March

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