Good Friday and Easter are celebrated in Malta in a ritually prominent manner. On Palm Sunday, one week before Easter, one may assist to the liturgical rites that usher in Holy Week. On Thursday evening and Friday morning, churches have their paintings draped in purple or black velvet. Traditionally the Maltese folk turn out in their thousands to visit and pray in seven different churches.
On Good Friday, around late afternoon, some 17 different towns and villages honour the Passion of the Christ by an organised and very solemn procession of statues. Each of these statues represents a particular episode in the Passion of the Christ and is carried by pallbearers. Between one statue and another (some ten in all) participants are dressed as biblical characters who take part in the procession in a decorous manner. Many processions include men in penitence bearing a cross and sometimes dragging chains as well tied to their bare feet as penitence.