about Semana Santa…
Semana Santa was spectacular. Although I’m sure it has a stronger religious significance for Catholics all over the world (and I am not catholic), I still found it to be very powerful and profound as a Christian. However, it was more for the artistic talent, time, and atmosphere that this week produces. The pasos are phenomenal and the bands that play during the processions make the procession really what it is. I dragged G around to as many processions as one could see and each one I was blown away by the passion and fervor (perhaps this is what made me keep wandering the city looking for the next paso).
One of the things that I found so remarkable was the amount of enthusiasm and vigor everyone had. From young to old, punks to nerds, toddlers, teens, beauty queens and wannabe beauty queens, everyone participated in this event.
The masks that the Nazarenos wear were scary to me at first… not gonna lie. Growing up most of my life in the U.S. all you can think about when you see these masks is U.S. history classes talking over and over about the KKK and Civil Rights and the images of the KKK all dressed in white with pointy hats. However, it didn’t take long for me to see past this and into the eyes of these Nazarenos. Why were they there? What did it signify for them? Only tradition? Religion? Hope? Jesus? I don’t know really… but for me it was a comforting thought to think that these Nazarenos were walking the streets of Sevilla for hours not thinking about horrific events in U.S. History, but rather of the resurrection of Jesus (or when they were going to eat next).
Oh man… and I have never seen Sevilla so crowded…. all day and all night… literally. Some processions were 12-14 hours and had hermandades (brotherhoods) with over 800 people walking (including the bands, the costaleros (people under the paso), the nazarenos, and the penitentes (people carrying crosses)).
When we got back from Portugal on Thursday that night was the Madrugada when the processions begin around 1am. We stayed out all night and watched different ones…the atmosphere was incredible and seeing the processions at night had a bit more passion and a little more magic… if that was possible.
I can’t wait till my next Semana Santa…