Thursday, 31 March 2016

Away


Semana Santa is a spectacle but not a circus. There was an atmosphere of appreciation and reverence for the procession of floats (pasos) on the theme of the Passion of Christ and the Suffering of the Blessed Virgin. The penitents precede bearing tall candles whose drippings schoolchildren at the edge of the crowds catch. Also in the procession are first holy communicants with baskets of tiny sweets which they give out. Overblown cornets and shrill reed bands play mournful marches. Navigating around the sharp corners of the narrow lanes of Seville and Cordoba the invisible porters (costaleros) hidden by a curtain have to step sideways to straighten up for a new direction. There are teams of them with bags folded on their necks catching I would think some projection underneath the float. Just behind always there was a man with a tall stepladder in case any of the candles on the float came loose or the magnificent brocades of the figures required adjustment. It was all beautifully managed but then they have training from the 16th.C. or so.

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