The Holy Week in Taranto has very ancient origins. During the XVIII century, the cult of the 'Addolorata' (Blessed Mother) is intensified and a procession is then introduced in her honor.
Currently, there are two processions that cross the city during the Easter period: that of Holy Thursday which begins in the night, starts from the church of S. Domenico in old town and symbolizes the search by the Addolorata for her son Jesus; that of the 'Mysteries ' which begins on the afternoon of Good Friday, starts from the Carmine church and retraces the stages of the 'Via Crucis'.
During the procession of the Addolorata the statue of the Virgin is supported by the members of the homonymous brotherhood, while during that of the Mysteries eight statues representing the passion of Christ are carried by the brotherhood of Carmine, whose members are called 'Perdoni'. The members of Addolorata's brotherhood wear a smock with a black cape called 'mozzetta', a crown of thorns on their heads and a large rosary tied to their belts. Instead, the members of Carmine's brotherhood despite being hooded, wear a black felt hat with a blue band around it; they gird a rosary in their right hand and a stick in their left hand, but above all they walk barefoot.
The pardons move in pairs called 'poste'. Their slow and undulating pace is called the 'nazzicata ' and is punctuated by the sound of the 'troccola', an instrument with metal handles. The stick seems
to evoke that of the pilgrims who in the past supported long journeys of penance.
The sweet of the Tarantine Easter tradition is a shortcrust pastry dove that contains a hard-boiled egg (the symbol of rebirth according to the Christian religion) and takes the name of 'scarcella '. It is often accompanied by sweet boiled 'taralli', a sort of donuts covered with icing.