The first bicentenary
Indicative list of the intangible cultural heritage in Switzerland
Those visiting Mendrisio to explore the historical centre that has so much to reveal to whoever is willing to hear the history of the ancient Town, will find it virtually impossible to imagine the amazing atmosphere that pervades these sites during the weeks that precede Easter, when the presence of the Transparents makes everything seem different.
The two main roads of the ancient Town and some side lanes, the ones used by the figurants who form the Holy Thursday and Holy Friday Processions, are lit up by the fascinating mellow light of the Transparents, which transform them into an outdoor museum, helping visitors discover the route along which they should gather to watch the processions. The Transparents are carefully affixed according to an established layout that assigns each of them a specific position. Churches situated along the route play different roles that are all precious and special in the context of the two events.
The local tradition establishes that the churches should be visited before the Processions begin; therefore, people stroll through the city centre, listening to the voices and music that explain the event and its tradition over the loudspeakers, lifting their eyes to admire the Transparents, savouring their atmospheres and pictorial features, awaiting the events that are yearly proposed with the same pattern. The processions start from the Church of St. John. They cross the ancient Town to reach the Church of the Capuchin Friars and return along the same path, which transits for the second time through the square by the Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian.
Many await the Processions to return along the same route before going away, in order to better appreciate the nuances of both the parades and the environment.
The Transparents remain affixed for a total period of about two weeks during Easter.