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The Septennial Rites of Penance take place in Guardia Sanframondi since 1620. They are considered as the largest self-flagellation rites in the western world.

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Oficially the Septennial Rites of Penance honor the discovery of a Virgin and Child statue in a field centuries ago. However Christianity was influenced by pagan beliefs in Campania.

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Oficially the Septennial Rites of Penance honor the discovery of a Virgin and Child statue in a field centuries ago. However Christianity was influenced by pagan beliefs in Campania.

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Preparations begin almost a year in advance. Inhabitants of the four districts (Rione Croce, Rione Portella, Rione Fontanella and Rione Piazza) make costumes and selecte the fellow citizens who will act in each one of the tableaux vivants.

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The four districts of Guardia Sanframondi alternate in processions of penance and communion. The "disciplinanti" parade stricking their backs with the discipline, preceded by the "Misteri", tableaux vivants depicted by non-professional actors representing scenes of the Bible, historical events and the lives of the Saints.

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The "disciplinanti" are so called because they use the "discipiline", an ancient tool for self-flagellation that consists of metal strips joined by a chain. A few of "disciplinanti" are women.

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The four districts of Guardia Sanframondi alternate in processions of penance and communion. The "disciplinanti" parade stricking their backs with the discipline, preceded by the "Misteri", tableaux vivants depicted by non-professional actors representing scenes of the Bible, historical events and the lives of the Saints.

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"Battenti" and "disciplinanti" wear a white wax and a hood to hide their identifies.