The Easter period offers visitors the chance to experience a true Tremosine sul Garda tradition, the Sacri Tridui. This is a celebration marking the passage to the period of Lent, common throughout the Brescia area.
During the weekend, just before Ash Wednesday, the entire community of Tremosine sul Garda meets around the ‘macchina dei Tridui’ (Tridui machine), and a light show illuminates the altar of the Church of Pieve for three days.
The Sacri Tridui and Lent
Ash Wednesday is the moment when Lent officially begins: every year, the community gathers in the Church of San Giovanni Battista in Pieve di Tremosine sul Garda, to commemorate the beginning of the period that will lead to Easter.
In the Pieve church, there is an ancient "tridui" machine made of finely decorated wood, on which 365 candles are placed, and when they are all lit up they create a unique show. An image of Christ is placed in the centre of this work of art.
During these days, devotees pray and make offers to the souls of their loved ones, so that they may atone for their sins.
The origin of the Tridui tradition
In the past, the Tridui rites were intended to purge the souls of the faithful from the pagan Carnival festivities, leading them towards the sacred time of Easter. Over time, this vision has been abandoned, in favour of commemorating departed ones, through prayers and sacred readings.
It seems that the tradition of the Sacri Tridui dates back to the period of the Spanish succession wars, when the population of what is today Brescia and surrounds experienced difficult times, with numerous deaths caused by the war. The friars of the Osservanza di Brescia decided to commemorate fallen soldiers and civilians by lighting candles, one for each day of the year.
Curious Fact: the meaning of the word "Tridui"
The word Tridui derives from the Latin "tres dies", three days, from the fact that these sacred celebrations take place for three days, from Friday to Sunday.