Religious Rite Takes Hamlet Back in Time Every Seven Years

New York Times
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Some 500 years since a farmer found a wooden Madonna statue in a field, the hamlet of Guardia Sanframondi continues to participate in rites to seek the pardon of the Madonna dell’Assunta or her divine intervention against famine and scarce harvest. The rites are now held every seven years, in a week of atonement and costumed parades that re-enact biblical parables. Even residents who have emigrated abroad return for the ceremonies and strut through the cobblestone streets. The seven days culminate with a Sunday procession, which includes hundreds of self-flagellating, hooded penitents.

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