So as we approach our lovely long Easter weekend full of chocolate, hot cross buns and roast lamb, what are the Spanish up to? Well, in Spain when it comes to religious festivals they certainly pull out all the stops, with Easter being the biggest celebration of all in a country which still embraces its faith across the generations.
For the most spectacular of celebrations, look no further than Andalucia, and Sevilla in particular, where thousands of people flock to the city and line the streets to witness the elaborate processions that pass through the streets of the city. The celebrations started here last Sunday and continue throughout the week, finishing this Sunday (Domingo de Resurección), and are a time for them to take to the streets with family and friends to watch the processions, remember the sacrifices of Christ and then finally celebrate his resurrection, with plenty music, singing and eating thrown in of course! Having experienced this amazing spectacle myself, I can tell you that the atmosphere is electric and incredibly moving, whether you are religious or not, it is definitely one worth making a trip to the beautiful city of Sevilla for!
There are over 60 religious brotherhoods in the city (cofradías), who each organise a procession, with members carrying very heavily adorned floats (pasos) holding religious statues, flowers and candles from their church to the city’s cathedral, many of which have been preserved for hundreds of years. These are carried by members (nazarenos), often barefooted and chained as Christ would have been, who can end the procession with blistered, bleeding feet and shoulders, as a form of penance, quite extreme! They are joined by other nazarenos who, wearing the traditional rather somber looking pointed hats (capirotes, designed to hide the face of the sinners and not connected in any way to the very similar looking outfits of the Ku Klux Klan), often carry large heavy wooden crosses on their backs.
As the floats pass through the streets, they are accompanied by marching bands, and people watching from balconies spontaneously perform saetas, traditional flamenco style religious songs. Have a watch and listen to a traditional saeta and procession in the city by clicking here!