There are traditions and customs that Sicilians cherish and pass on with great passion and devotion: Easter is the time of the year when, in every town, Sicilian folklore is expressed at its best and seduces all the tourists who are spending their spring holidays in this beautiful island.
The ancient tradition of the “Madonna-Vasa Vasa” (translated “The Madonna kiss-kiss”)
Modica is not an exception and it celebrates Easter Sunday through the procession of the Madonna-Vasa Vasa, which attracts thousands of tourists and visitors every year.
Corso Umberto I, the main street of the town, gets packed: visitors and locals fill the whole street reaching all the way to the outside of the Church of Saint Mary of Bethlehem, in order to worship a statue of Saint Mary, where she is covered by a black veil, in mourning for the loss of her son, Jesus.
In the meantime, a statue of the Risen Jesus is carried through the streets of Modica, but in the opposite direction. At noon, in Piazza Municipio, the statue of Saint Mary meets the statue of the Risen Jesus: this is when the Madonna, via a mechanical mechanism, drops the black cloak to show the classic light blue dress to the locals and tourists, who get emotionally touched by the whole scene.
This is the procession’s most anticipated moment: the Madonna, at the sight of the risen Christ, opens her arms to embrace and kiss him, while dozens of white doves hover in the air to seal the happiness of this event.
The celebration of the “Madonna-Vasa Vasa” is a deep emotional experience for the audience. It is full of passion and it gets almost physical, like all the most intense Easter celebrations in Sicily. People from Modica feel like the Madonna is embracing them. In the past, they also believed that good luck would be granted to the town if “the kiss” was successfully performed.
Easter in Modica
Easter, which falls in spring, when the weather is mild, is the best time to EXPERIENCE the local folklore: you can feel your heart beating along with the heart of the crowd that is eagerly waiting for the kiss between the Madonna and Jesus and you can share with them this moment of joy.
The Dimora Storica Edel is just a step away from Corso Umberto, where the celebration takes place. If you decide to visit Sicily during the Easter holidays, you can’t miss the traditional “vasata” and the warmth of the people from this town.