Thursday, January 27, 2011
Me gusta Semana Santa, me gustas tu. . .
Although Easter fever has long ago subdued, the memory of the Spanish catholic way of celebrating it, is still fresh in our memories: incense, crowds of people, window displays of The Virgen and fresh flowers in every shop; red banners flowing lazily from balconies in the City Center, women traditionally dressed in black and lace, the streets decked out with chairs (that can cost up to 200 euros for the week per person to save your cushion). And the little Clu Clax men! Dressed in shades of purple, blue, white, black, green and red - depending on which church the dressed belongs to. Some historical trivia on this phenomenon: the reason for these dodgy attires have nothing to do with the rude American history, but is an all catholic tradition in presenting yourself during the Easter season: it creates an oppurtunity for equality amongst the churchgoers of long ago (where being religious did not get you into the popular group, but quite the opposite - dead). Apart form hiding their identities as well, the pointy hats make everyone appear the same lentgh. It also signifies a closer connection to God. Bare feet make it's appearance every so often too, to manifest humility and humbly try to attempt to experience some of the pain that Jesus went through. Instead of carrying swords, the paraders carry enormous wax candles or baskets of pungent incense. The order of events is thus (for lack of a better expression) the Clu Clax men, a mobile display of either Mary or Mary and crucified Jesus, some more Clu Clax men, a brass instrument orchestra, another display of Mary (soldiers sometimes also make their appearance in silver and gold). And yes, these structures are of solid gold and silver and therefore need about fifty pax to lift and carry them around at, well. . . very slowly. Usually, all this madness continues for one whole week, starting on a Sunday and ending on the Sunday to follow, the Thursday being the most important day. Yet another excuse for the Sevillanos to not work and spend their time crowding the streets. Although, those past the age of just being piss cats, do take Semana Santa (saint week) very seriously and sometimes men, caught up in a moment of passion and spontanaiety, serenade the parade coming by. A serenade like no other; one that leaves you with chattering teeth, goose bumps up to your nail cuticles and watery eyes, wanting more. You know you were just part of an inexplicable spiritual moment. Have a listen to this. . .