Hot sun, cool shade, blue sky, ancient white stucco, patterned cobbled streets, sweat upon a "costelero's" brow, small gloved hands fingering rosaries,
flower petals thrown from balconies and in pots all around, vivid costumes, girls in mantillas, brass with drum marching band bellows emotive melodies,
while Jesus and Mary dance, making magic street theater in our little village!
It is absolutely a stunning production from each hand made, over-sized scapula to the mysterious costumes, banners, music, masks, crosses and decorated sculptures. I am always stunned at how much workmanship and money goes into each festival for such a tiny village.
Like so many festivals here and like every funeral, always they walk down the main narrow street in the oldest part of town.There seems to be a power in this community builder and ritualistic pagentry. It always starts at the church and the large plaza there (which interestingly, is right next to the street called Inquisidor! ).
From the church at one end, they walk as a group slowly, snaking their way through ancient narrow cobbled streets, all the way down, across and up to the area across town where there is a cemetery and meeting hall (in the newest part of town). People watch from their balconies and along the side of the entire route, many throw petals of bright red flowers. I have become very fond of processions.
I am so grateful that we got to experience it in Seville, but it is also a madhouse with all the crowds, so I actually prefer Seville outside of tourist season. We had intended to check out other cities like Malaga and Granada for their unique Semana Santa Celebrations, but so far we have not done that because we are so fond of the one they put on in our tiny white village.
What makes it really special here is that we KNOW all the people who participate. This is our third winter of living here so we see the children that go to school with Mozart and the families that we know because in this small of a village, everybody knows everybody. And everybody participates in the festivals from the youngest to the oldest.
The little girl in the mantilla is one that has stayed over night in our home, the little boy carrying the cross is the one who chases Mozart at the park. The beautiful teen in the somber black mantilla walking alone is the darling girl who helps Mozart catch up with her flamenco routines that she misses while on the road.
The matronly woman proudly carrying the beautiful hand made banner is our friend who works at the pharmacy (" pharmacia ") where we pick up homeopathic remedies and things. The police officer that helps with kids crossing when school opens and closes during the week, was playing his trombone in "our" village band (which adds so much to this and all the festivals).
Many of the Semana Santa celebrations happen at night so are hard to capture, but these Easter photos from this past Sunday give you some idea of the drama. We took plenty so will have them in Flickr and available to purchase at our Imagekind store. I posted some pictures on Twitpic and our Facebook group.
We also got some great video that we will get up on our Soultravelers3 Youtube Channel (don't forget to subscribe to us there and in our RSS feed so that you will be the first to see it!). We are starting to feel the transition energy here as we have already started our packing up process (a little each day) as we prepare to get back on the road again, but we have some more videos coming soon!
I posted this quote some time ago, when I was moved by another festival in our village, but it still speaks to me and explains the Andalusia resident's values well:
“Spain in general and Andalusia in particular teaches us that you can have no real communal life unless you have focal and celebratory events throughout the year, in which the large majority of people in that community participate. That is because the only true basis of community is not supposedly enlightened self-interest but actual shared experience. This
is much assisted by the preservation of pre-industrial feasts and
saints’ days and by a due attention to the rhythms of the seasons. ”
I hope your Easter was grand! There are no Easter bunnies in Spain, but Mozart was found again, much to her delight, although she was a little disappointed that it was not in an Easter basket ( since they are so hard to find in Spain). She is still munching on left over chocolate and has already finished the fat book she got. What do you think about the celebrations in Spain?