Thursday, 19 April 2012
Semana Santa in Andalusia
I'd never before seen Holy Week celebrations in Spain, until this year, for an Easter weekend near Ronda, and it was the most extraordinary sight; somehow more foreign than anything else I've witnessed in Western Europe. The penitents, hidden behind their hoods and cloaks, and the cavalcade of processions, where the figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary are carried aloft, and the little children, in robes or mantilla lace... it was beautiful and sinister, glorious and strange, not staged for tourists, but entirely by and for the local people. I wished that Daphne du Maurier could have written about such a scene -- doubtless she would have added a twist to the tale -- but I wonder if Lorca wrote a poem about Semana Santa? There was a full moon rising over Ronda on Good Friday, and I remembered a fragment of Lorca:
'Through the sky goes the moon,
gripping a child's fingers...'