How far can a village of 5000 inhabitants be engaged in a religious manifestation? A lot, if the religious ceremony we are talking about is the Feast of Corpus Christi (on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday), whose celebration usually takes place on the following Sunday. And the village is Cupramontana.
In this little village in the hearth of the green hills of Le Marche, the preparation of the celebration start weeks, or even months before, and from the youngest to the eldest citizen participate in it. It all starts with students from the local middle school that under the skilled eye of the unique Art Professor, Rita Uncini, sketch the motifs that may be chosen for the celebration. But what is the celebration about?
In Cupramontana you can walk along a long flower carpet going around the city centre, with several geometric templates, with different flower petals placed on them; or even big “flower paintings” on the floor, reproducing very famous paintings, with religious characters. The procession of the Holy Sacrament starts from the Church of San Lorenzo, and together with the children of the Holy Communion, the local marching band, and devotees, it continues in the major streets of the little village.
The sketch on papers from students are carefully evaluated by the professor, who then send the winner drawings to local wooden artisans. And the magic begins! From the paper drawing, the wooden masters create the big templates that will be used on the roads.
In the meantime, volounteers gather in the surroundings of Cupramontana and start to look for beautiful flowers, with the most useful colours: usually the yellow of brooms, red of roses, and green of fresh cut grass. And now it’s time to pluck off the petals and to collect them in big boxes.
Sunday is coming, and also job for the flower arrangers. They are invited to gather into the small hours of the morning, and it is common to see not only adults but also children. They strictly have to respect the rules about colours and sequence of templates. You probably see them still working as you are going to the Church to attend the service, before the procession.
As far as the big paintings is concerned, they require more attention and scrupulousness. They have many more colours, such as light pink for skin, brown for hair, and light cream, which is usually rendered with grain spikes.
When the procession begins, it’s only the Holy Corpus Christi who is allowed to walk on the carpet (and of course, the priest with It): the people walk then aside the carpet itself.
The transformation of Cupramontana is amazing, and also the work beyond the faboulous result. The streets are usually closed to traffic until 6pm, in order to allow everybody to watch this beauty and be amazed by it!