During the Easter celebrations in Scicli, Ragusa, Risen Christ is welcomed joyfully. On Saturday evening people gather inside the church of Santa Maria la Nova waiting for midnight, when the statue of the Risen Christ is unveiled. It is unveiled by removing the heavy cloth that covers it and it is shown to the faithful. At the sight of the statue, the faithful start repeating “Gioia! Gioia!” (Joy) with a marked rhythm (hence the name U Gioia to the Risen Christ). The statue is carried by young men under twenty-six and unmarried from the altar where the “unveiling” took place. The statue, named Omu Vivu, is placed in the nave where it is covered with red carnations by members of the brotherhood of the Risen Christ.

On Sunday morning a procession goes through the city and comes back to the church of Santa Maria La Nova at noon. This procession is called the Venerabile and is opened by a large blue flag (Venerabile) which is bowed in front of the statue of the Risen Christ around noon. At this moment the real feast begins: the statue is taken on the shoulders by young people who, as if they are dancing, lead it out of the church with swinging steps. The faithful wait for the exit of the Omu vivu and welcome him shouting “Gioia! Gioia!”.

The statue of the Risen Christ will maintain a hectic pace during the procession through the city streets: the joy for the Resurrection seems almost pagan in this celebration for the Man who returns to earth. The procession comes back to the church in the afternoon, between fourteen and fifteen, where there is a quick stop. In the evening the statue is brought back into the crowd through the streets of the city which, as in the morning, welcomes U Gioia with a great party atmosphere. The Busacca hymn accompanies the feast and pushes the youngmen who are carrying Omu Vivu to increase the pace: running, swinging and with sudden changes. In this moment of collective happiness the statue seems almost alive thanks to the efforts of the transporters and the tireless rhythm of the music. The statue returns to the church late at night and is covered with the cloth that will preserve it for another year.


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REI - Libro delle celebrazioni - Festa del Cristo Re Risorto https://reis.cricd.it/reisicilia/details/2/71 (last visited 02/04/2022)
Comune di Scicli - Festa di Pasqua o dell’Omu Vivu https://www.comune.scicli.rg.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/5728 (last visited 02/04/2022)
Visit Vigata - Pasqua a Scicli: ‘u Gioia https://www.visitvigata.com/pasqua-a-scicli-u-gioia-e-il-cristo-risorto/#:~:text=%C3%88%20la%20festa%20del%20Gioia,e%20le%20atmosfere%20della%20festa (last visited 06/04/2022)
Pasqua a Scicli. "u gioia" cristo risorto! - Andrea Giuseppe Errera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMF2rXxmpc0
Inno di Busacca - Scicli (RG) - Francesco Pisani https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOMvuUrM1jo