Škofja Loka passion play

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Inscribed in 2016 (11.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2015, by Marjan Cerar

In Škofja Loka, Slovenia, a folk play performed as a procession takes place in the streets of the town’s medieval centre during Lent and Easter involving more than 900 local performers. The Škofja Loka Passion Play, based on the ancient works of a Capuchin monk, demonstrates 20 scenes of the stations of the cross and others from the Old Testament and New Testament. Performed in the dialect of the time it was written, the play takes place at a series of locations. In addition to the actors, 400 other volunteers from the community participate in the play’s production. Due to the complexity involved, the Škofja Loka Passion Play is only performed every six years. While it is considered to be an important part of local identity, the play also contributes to social cohesion giving residents involved an opportunity to connnect with one other and feel like they are contributing to their community. Knowledge and skills associated with the practice of the play are transmitted from older to younger generations by families who participate, and craftspeople assisting in the play’s production who host classes passing on know-how to others. The Passion Play is also included in the curricula of local schools.

Medieval Škofja Loka with four scenes
Night procession on the first scene in the centre of the town Škofja Loka
Performers waiting for their turn to walk on the first scene
United passion brass band that honors modern man
Honorary passion cavalry military honors baroque period
Children of Adam (souls of descendants) with black belts (mortality) and walking sticks (constant search) in heaven
Brotherhood of hell with Lucifer and doomed soul
Coronation of Christ, porters in red frocks (suffering in blood), whippers and cross carriers in black
Make-up room - performers being made up for their roles (Lucifer, Death)
All participants - volunteers in the 2009 Škofja Loka passion play