Along the Natchez Trace

Monday, March 25, 2013

Semana Santa begins

Holy Week began yesterday.  Everyone is dressed in their finest and there will be parades everyday.  This post will be short because Bill & I have classes from 9:30 until 1:30 as usual...  but also have classes in the afternoon until 6:30 today and Tuesday to make up for the closing of the school on Thursday and Friday.

We're between classes now....

So...  a few quick photos of what we saw yesterday....

The pedestrian plaza was crowded with people all day yesterday, everyone dressed in their finest...
I'll include more photos of the fashions as the week goes on, but these young women were wearing impossibly high heels .... and I'm sure they were planning to walk for many hours.

In the plaza are the "Squeakies"...  I've shown pictures of them before.  The middle on is a real person.. as a pedestrian walks by, they squeak real loud and kind of bolt part way out of the box.
I'm standing behind their box in this shot.  It was fun watching the reaction of the passersby as they were startled by the action.
Of course the Squeaky wants you to drop some coins in the box.

This guy was new to the plaza...
Personally, I thought it was in kind of poor taste, but then...  what do I know?  I'm just a tourist here.
He's another street performer...  the can in front is to drop some coins for him.  I did have to admire his patience in standing so still for so long.

We managed to get out of the plaza and head to the main part of Sevilla.  Parades had started at 3pm.  There are 60 churches that participate in these parades.  Each is a separate parade, but are timed so that no two arrive at the Cathedral at the same time.
Each church has its own "brotherhood".  They have their own color of "costume", but all have the pointed hats.  Yes... they do look like the KKK we've had in the States.  

Each church also has its own "float"
A HUGE, very expensive permanent display of an event in Christ's last week.  There are no motor vehicles involved.  This display has a whole lot of men underneath it... shuffling along.  It takes as many as 14 hours for one float to start from its own church.. make its way to the cathedral... go through that church..  then make its may through the streets back to its own church.

While the men (and women and children) are dressed as pentitants, or Nazarenes, there may also be a band playing music to accompany them.
The black and yellow hats are the band.
The bystanders are crowded...  so crowded together there's hardly room to breathe.  It's difficult to see anything up close.

Another view...

More of the same...

Another view of the display...
The displays are kept in the church throughout the year.  They are so delicate that if there is even a sign of rain, that church parade is canceled ...  not postponed...  canceled for that year.

After that parade, we headed back to Triana in hopes of seeing the church on San Jacinto head out on their parade route...
These guys were on their way to the parade...

These girls were lining up to watch the parade...
This girl kicked off her high heels and was putting on her flats...
Looks like a good idea to me!

But... this parade was not to happen...

It started to rain...
Many very disappointed people put up their umbrellas and headed home.

There will be many more parades all week...  and we hope to catch a few.
Since it takes so long to get to the cathedral, they have many, many candles lit on them during the night hours.  Also, some parades will be totally silent...  can you imagine seeing that procession of hooded men, marching along... totally silent...  alongside of a golden float?

I hope to be able to show you that later.

That's All For Today!


  1. Oh, the high heels these days!! I could never wear anything like that. I hope you get to see more parades (without the rain!) Great series of photos today as always.

  2. What a treat to see those parades, and yes, they do look like the KKK.

  3. you sure couldn't walk or parade about with those robes and hoods here in the south! holy moly ... and the tackiest part of Jesus' impersonator is the socks with the sandals... He wouldn't do that

  4. It seems like a good idea to cancel the floats when it rains, not only because it might damage them but they would get incredibly heavy if they're wet!

  5. I cannot imagine moving in those parades, let alone in high heels. Ah, youth.

  6. Such a shame when they do all the preparation and then get rained out. Would live to see a shot of the stiletto heels you're wearing this week!

  7. Does it always rain in Spain. "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain". Sorry it rained on your parade.

  8. It's a very different way of life and culture. The religious influence is very great.