By Nancy Todd
Solemn processions take place in cities all over Spain to celebrate Semana Santa, Saints Week. Known as Easter to us, these ancient night processions, can last for hours, and portray the death and rebirth of Christ. Processions are prolific in Southern Spain. Floats with holy figures are carried from church to cathedral by brotherhood societies. Men carrying the floats are call “costalers” and wear shoulder pads to lighten their burden. Many in the procession and thousands of viewers line the streets holding candles to pay homage to Semana Santa en Espana. They view quietly and I assume with penitence. I watch with amazed interest and frankly find the whole thing weird and without joy. Ok, Christ died, but he had many good lessons and let’s emphasize the positive stuff.
The costumes are eerie yet mesmerizing. Men , “‘nazarenos,” wear long black or white robes and tall pointed hoods – a fashion plate for The Klan. Many walk barefoot to the sounds of drums and coronets. Some carry crosses and have embroidery on their robes. Hoods are taken off on Easter Sunday to represent that Christ has risen. During Semana Santa en Espana, floats hold ancient and beautiful holy figures. If it rains, the event is called off and no rain date scheduled. Seville, Toledo, Malaga, Granada are a few of the cities with big, well known processions. The whole event is strange and wonderful and why we love to travel.
Price: Free to all.
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