Easter isn’t just Sunday in Spain. Unlike us lazy Americans, the Spaniards celebrate for an entire week: Semana Santa. It starts the Thursday before Palm Sunday and goes until Easter Sunday, so it’s actually even more than a week. Over-achievers.
During the week huge processions run through the streets of Sevilla. These parade-like events happen in pretty much every Spanish city, but are a little different in each location. I’m pretty sure Sevilla’s Semana Santa is the best. Not biased at all.
I only got to experience Easter, the last day of Semana Santa because I was travelling for the majority of the week. Unfortunately it was one of the days with the least amount of processions and the least amount of viewers. Instead of having multiple processions going on at all times of the day, there was only one the whole day. As for not having a big crowd, I wasn’t super disappointed about that cause I can’t see over anyone taller than five feet.
I went downtown with one of my Spanish friends, so I got the whole insider explanation.
All of the people who walk in the processions and carry the… floats? I’m going to call them floats. All of these people, who sometimes walk for hours in the Sevilla heat, are volunteers. Except the bands, they get paid.
The procession starts with a band announcing its arrival, and then some eerily familiar cone-headed figures dressed all in white walk in…
^^^^my first reaction
Don’t worry, it’s NOT the Klu Klux Klan. They’re called Nazarenos. Apparently the KKK stole their costume ideas from these guys, not the other way around. They signify something super biblical and godly, quite the opposite of the American adaptation.
Carrying giant candle walking-sticks, they pave the way for the main event! First came Jesus on the cross, carried by a bunch of men underneath the float. I can’t even imagine how hot it was for these people under the curtain under the float while carrying the float on their backs. I was just watching, wearing a romper, and was about to have a heat stroke. Granted it’s a little hotter than I’m used to in Wisconsin this time of year.
Then the float passed and more white hats walked by, followed by more music. And then came the most magnificent of all, the Virgin Mary.
By far the coolest float out of all two that I saw, it had about a zillion lit candles (peligroso much?) and a beautiful statue of the one and only Virgin. While passing through the street, real flower petals were thrown down from balconies and onto the Virgin Mary float. It was definitely one of the prettiest things I’ve seen.
I of course had to go play in the flowers like all of the other 7 year-olds. But it’s okay. I can pass for 12 with my height.