Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm Sorry. Now, Give Me Chocolate.

NOTE THE BRILLIANTLY EXECUTED WOOD-CARVING OF JESUS CHRIST
IN THE DEPARTMENT STORE WINDOW.

I still haven't seen a procession. The rains, although welcome and beautiful after so many mostly dry months, have put a damper (yes, a damper) on many of this week's outdoor activities. I took a walk yesterday afternoon and watched for two processions scheduled soon to arrive at the plazas of La Campana and Duque de la Victoria.

TOURISTS, SHOPPERS, PENITENT.

While I waited, I snapped more pictures of penitents, but then the skies again darkened and I could hear thunder in the distance. So I walked the few blocks home and arrived just ahead of a great thunderstorm and downpour. A couple of penitents took shelter in the lobby of the music store across the street. I would have thought walking in the rain could have been part of their penance.

I STILL FIND THE WHITE HOODS UNSETTLING — MATCHING TAN SUEDE BIRKENSTOCKS
AND FLOWER-EMBROIDERED CUMMERBUNDS NOTWITHSTANDING.

I would love to stop someone and ask them what they are repenting, if anything. Yesterday, I saw a 5-year-old in a blue robe, carrying his hood, while walking hand-in-hand with his mother. What could he possibly have done that would require him to publicly (yet anonymously) repent?

THE SUGAR GIRALDA AT LA CAMPANA SURROUNDED BY DECORATIVE
AS WELL AS EDIBLE PENITENTS. NOW THIS I UNDERSTAND.

While out walking today, I asked a very nice guy in a local shop if he could shed some light on all this. He explained that most people are dressed in the robes and conical hats of penitents for tradition's sake and aren't really repenting their sins. He told me he could understand our discomfort with the cone-hooded strangers. He's from Sevilla and it makes him uncomfortable, too.

THEY DO HAVE CHOCOLATE EASTER EGGS (AND TIKI HEADS... AND PINEAPPLES)!

I might try and catch one procession as it leaves its home church around 5 p.m. It's then supposed to walk right below our windows a few minutes after midnight tonight as it makes its return trip. Here's hoping the rains don't force this one to cancel.

RESERVED SEATING IN PLAZA DE SAN FRANCISCO (WHERE THEY USED TO BURN HERETICS).
CITY HALL TO THE RIGHT. BANK OF SPAIN, CENTER.

30 comments:

  1. Hi Mitch - I'm still shaking with laughter at the sight of chocolate penitents! The shop window looks like a fund-raiser for the KKK! Perhaps they sell Sherbert Flaming Crosses too?

    Don't catch a chill on your blog's behalf by standing out in the rain - take an umbrella!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Owl Wood:
      The penitents are actually hard candy. Does that make it any less peculiar? Thanks for the advice; my decision was to stay inside and just wait until tonight!

      Delete
  2. Wow, have to say that the hooded penitents make me uncomfortable as well (and especially the 5 year old in one). But the chocolate ones look awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole:
      I guess it depends on what you're used to.

      The huge chocolate Easter eggs are more my style!

      Delete
  3. The sugar Giralda at La Campana is very impressive. I'd settle for a chocolate egg though - preferably one of the white chocolate ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine:
      The sugar Giralda is stunning. I wrote about originally back in October; it was then replaced with a chocolate Nativity scene for Christmas, and now it's back with the penitents. I wonder if that makes it a penitentiary (which sounds like something your brother would say...).

      White chocolate, huh? You'd do well in our house. Jerry would get all the dark chocolate and I would get all the milk chocolate and you would get all the white!

      Delete
  4. Ahhh, Chocolate - droooooool!
    Di
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YONKS:
      And from the store La Campana, I'm sure it tastes even better than it looks!

      Delete
  5. Does your mommy know your perversion for chocolate? lol

    saludos,
    raulito

    ReplyDelete
  6. Raulito:
    Oh yeah, The Dowager Duchess knows and feeds it. But her ice cream obsession is much more severe than my chocolate perversion.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What you need then are chocolate-covered peeps! I got some last year at a candy shop where they hand-dipped them. They were to die for!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms Sparrow:
      I have never heard of chocolate-covered peeps! Now I've really got a craving!

      Delete
  8. I keep hearing about peeps so I had to go to prof Google to find out what they are. See, Mitch, your blog is so educational! Now I know about penitents and peeps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith:
      As far as I'm concerned, peeps are much more useful than penitents (and they taste better, too... well, not that I've ever tasted a penitent...)

      Delete
  9. How do they make those silly hats stand up that high? They must have some sort of wire frame stuck under there. Weird, creepy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Archguy:
      Oddly, I think they're simply framed of cardboard (and have been for centuries).

      Delete
  10. Mitch,
    Do you know if there is any significance to the different colors of the Penitents outfits? I see blue, black and white. Are they gender or age specific or does the color represent how repentant you should be?

    Scott

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scott:
      The colors conform to whatever procession they're in. They all have some kind of emblem or belt that identifies specifically which Catholic brotherhood/sisterhood/fraternity they belong to. So, in one procession, all wear the same color(s) no matter their age (or sins).

      Delete
    2. I see. It's all very interesting. I would love to be there watching a procession. I am once again envious of you Sir.

      Scott

      Delete
  11. I'm just finding this fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  12. the cone heads give me the heebie-jeebies no matter what colour they are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ur-spo:
      I'm still not comfortable with it, but I'm no longer shocked by it (especially when I see them hugging and chatting with friends along the way).

      Delete
  13. Again a most interesting post. These penitents appearance is spooky and weird and make me feel uneasy. I don't understand what they are for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the cuby poet:
      My sense is that for the most part they're mostly now "for" tradition's sake, but it still is unsettling for me having not been accustomed to it.

      Delete
  14. Do the colored hoods have a special meaning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter:
      The colors of the robes and hoods seem to be specific to the procession the marchers are in and, therefore, the brotherhood/organization they're affiliated with.

      Delete
  15. Hey Mitch,
    I ran across this post on Sevilla and thought you might like it. It's not mine of course, but it's nice.

    http://www.adventurouskate.com/sevilla-the-most-beautiful-city-in-spain/

    ReplyDelete
  16. This chocolata inclusion made everything seem OK! Yeah, pointy hats are so non de rigour or indelicate!

    ReplyDelete

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