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Les Pleureuses or the Mourners 2024

The town of Romont is home to an unusual Easter tradition

Dates: March 29, 2024

Les Pleureuses or the Mourners
Les Pleureuses or the Mourners

This tradition is part of the Hallstatt cultural heritage. The town of Romont is situated in the Glane district of Fribourg and is one of the Roman Catholic villages in Switzerland. On Good Friday, ​they hold an unusual procession called "Les Pleureuses" (women mourners). Good Friday is a day of mourning when Christians meditate on Jesus's suffering and death on the cross. The Les Pleureuses ceremony begins with the priest reading the Passion of Christ in a local church. Afterward, the funeral procession walks through the streets of the upper town.

The mourners march and chant, dressed completely in black, wearing full, non-transparent veils. A young girl dressed as Virgin Mary walks behind a man in a black hood carrying a large crucifix. The mourners carry thorns, nails, a hammer, and other symbols on red pillows. Liturgical chants and prayers are sung by the entire congregation during this time. The tradition dates back to the 15th century, being one of the oldest in the region.

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Authors: Olena Basarab