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Holy week in Spain

Updated on April 16, 2013

The band crashed into life as the protagonist appeared wavering nervously in the immense doorway. The silhouette of his onerous incumbrance evoking memories of his agonizing demise. The aged old legend wafted on the incense laden breeze, bathing the faithful. The cold hard pillars of the ancient church stool in firm witness as the christ once more lurched out into the chill of the night. Cries of devoted exaltation then welcomed the figure of the beloved virgin as the mother followed the son into the dimly lit square, a starburst of golden light radiated from her ornate cape. On her face she wore an expression of pained vacant resignation as she gazed into the darkness.

The small bells mounted on the floats clanged their orders to the honored bearers who proudly maneuvered the ornate carriages into the allotted positions. The devotees wandered into two files that flanked the figures, each with their allotted duty to perform. Some carried silver illuminated staffs, some lofted banners and the black widows wept into their candles. A squad of penitents fell in in front of the christ dressed in purple robes, the sinister tall pointed hats hid all but the beaming eyes

On the command of the drums we all set of to the slow mournful beat swaying in unison. We wound ourselves around the the labyrinth of narrow street stopping regularly at the command of the bells allowing the bearers a respite from their labours and we would quietly chat and share a cigarette. The band would then strike up again and we would resume our rhythmic swaying to the strangely joyous tunes.

Doors would be flung open as we passed and whole families would disgorge onto the street, children in arms to give praise to the phenomenon.

After two hour of procession we arrived exhausted back at the church where we were treated to the spectacle of the two figures pirouetted around each other in a solemn farewell before each returned into the sanctity of the church. Before doing so each turned to face the crowd and swayed in an wild exaggerated fashion to bid us good night.

the square slowly emptied leaving the duties done for another year.


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