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UNESCO nominated Thousands watch historic Easter Mendrisio processions

Mendrisio Easter procession at night

Mendrisio Easter procession on Thursday night

(Keystone)

Crowds have been out in force to watch the Easter processions in Mendrisio in the southern canton of Ticino – a practice that has been nominated for inclusion on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.

Several thousand people watched the procession on Thursday evening, which featured around 270 participants re-enacting Christ’s passion through the Stations of the Cross.

During the event, translucent paintings are illuminated from the inside and mounted onto frames.

As is traditionalexternal link, a second procession took place on Good Friday, with 700 participants. Inhabitants young and old carried ceremonial objects and walked through the old town in a tradition whose rules date back to the 18th century.

Switzerland submitted the Mendrisio procession tradition for inclusion onto the UNESCO list last year. This celebrates well-known traditions, art forms and practices.

A decision is expected in November 2019.

To date UNESCO has included the Winegrowers’ Festival in Vevey, canton Vaud, and the Basel Carnival on its intangible cultural heritage list. Switzerland and Austria gained the status for their management of avalanche risks last November. ​​​​​​​

Easter procession in Mendrisio 'My life has changed!'

Several characteristics distinguish the centuries-old historical processions in the holy week leading up to Easter from similar representations.

Keystone-SDA/swissinfo.ch/ilj

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