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Journals from Seville, Spain

2013-04-02 Holy Week

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Float of The Virgin Mary

 As it is known throughout the world, Holy Week or Semana Santa is a time of great celebration for Catholic people around the world. In Seville it is of high importance beginning with preparations weeks in advance. From those participating in the processions who need to buy their attire, to buying the typical food eaten during this holiday, to simple spring cleaning of the house since it is a given that guests will be over; all in the city await the festivities.

The week begins and everyone gets a copy of the schedule telling you when each church will have their processions leave and about what time they will pass by certain places in the city. These processions include floats with the Virgin Mary and the Crucifixion (each separately carried by people) along with many penitents leading the way. As the line of people is often very long, I imagine it takes a lot of time to organize how all the processions will coincide, since there are more than 50 of them. Nonetheless, they do a great job and only rain can change whether or not a procession will leave. Since the floats are painted wood, they can’t get wet, so if they are outside on their way to the cathedral and it begins to rain, they have to look for a nearby church or place for shelter. This year over half of the churches weren’t able to make their procession to the cathedral and it brought great sadness to many as for some it has been 3 years since they have been able to.

On the other hand, fortunately on Thursday is when three of the processions passed by my house and we were lucky enough to have a balcony overlooking the street and nice weather. It was an impressive sight to see as hundreds of people filled the street waiting for them to open the doors and leave the street. Of course the view of the procession was great from above and I enjoyed seeing the floats of Mary and Jesus pass by with all the flowers, candles, and details of the artwork. It has been a great week being able to have an inside look on such deep traditions here in Seville.  

 

Jessica Calderon

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