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...'

7 comments:

Young at Heart said...

extraordinary..... I remember arriving late at night in Granada, my friend from college and I there to visit her sister for Easter.......she was married to a pharmacist who looked like Jesus and they lived above the shop...the streets were filled with people, old, young, children, and huge crosses, statues carried aloft, hooded figures carrying lighted torches.....it was quite pagan......!!

Justine Picardie said...

As you say, it feels quite pagan (to an outsider, at least), with Roman elements, as well -- some of the procession were carrying what looked like the insignia of the Roman centurions...

kairu said...

What beautiful and haunting photos, Justine, especially of the pointed hats and purple robe, like witches...our modern traditions are born from the religious rituals of the past, like Halloween rising from All Hallow's Eve, its original meaning forgotten by most...

jaywalker said...

Striking photos. We didn't see an Easter procession in Ronda but we did see the bull ring and toreador museum - because it's where they filmed the Placido Domingo version of Carmen and I'm an opera fan - but it was similarly strange. The near worship of toreadors as demi-gods and the passion for cruelty in the bullring certainly brings the Inquisition to mind.

On a completely different note I thought you might be interested in this review from an Australian newspaper of the new Madonna film about Wallis, written by Ann Seba.

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/movies/simpsons-unjust-desserts-20120420-1xbt0.html

enid said...

Am I the only one.? Those photos give me the heebee jeebees. I do not know why but I feel uneasy when I look at them . Help!

Mrs. Sutton said...

Absolutely incredible images - and true - quite haunting. It must be rather overwhelming to be in the thick of it and experience it 'live' - hard to believe that one were still in the 21st Century I would imagine. I admire their passion.

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