Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday: Domingo de Ramos

We are gearing up for Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Sevilla. We've been told the population of the city increases this week from approximately 800,000 to over 2 million. The city seems to be prepared. We, however, are not. Fortunately, our apartment is on the route of several of the 61 processions that will wind their way around the city over the next eight days. So, if we don't want to battle the crowds, we can simply move from balcony to balcony and watch the parades pass by.

DETAIL OF ONE OF THE HUGE PASOS AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING LAST SUNDAY.

A MORE COMPLETE VIEW OF THE SAME PASO.

ANOTHER VIEW (THE FIGURES ARE LIFE-SIZE).

I've been studying and printing out the routes of the daily processions. The pasos (floats) carry Jesus, Mary, and/or other personages of biblical significance. The statues are life-size and we've had an opportunity to see some of them in their home churches, basilicas, chapels, and brotherhood buildings. 

ONE OF THE VIRGINS OF SEVILLA.

Last Sunday, many opened their doors so people could view the completed pasos before they make their tours of the city. The craftsmanship and the precious metals, painted woods, and fabrics used to create these displays are awe-inspiring. 

BASILICA OF JESÚS DEL GRAN PODER (JESUS OF THE GREAT POWER).
HOME TO ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PASOS AND JUST UP THE STREET FROM US.

JESÚS DEL GRAN PODER LAST NIGHT. HE'LL PASS BY OUR HOUSE AT LEAST ONCE.

By the end of the week I know I will have had my fill of all the religiosity, but the first paso to be carried by our house will be here Monday. I may or may not head out this afternoon to get a street view of some of the others. If I do, I have a feeling it will be my one and only time to share the street with the crowds. Our birds-eye view will be so much more relaxing. Maybe we'll have some hot chocolate and a Semana Santa specialty, torrijas (which is basically french toast swimming in honey).

I JUST LOVE THOSE CHERUBS.
OUTSIDE THE CHURCH OF SAN LORENZO IN THE SAME PLAZA AS JESUS DEL GRAN PODER.

It's already been an entertaining week. Early in the week, we noticed that all our regular cafés, restaurants, and bars had significantly less tables on the plazas and sidewalks (or low tables where they always had high tables). I won't mention any names, but I asked one of our friendly neighborhood bar owners what was going on and I was told they don't have a license for more than nine tables. It's not a problem the rest of the year but during Semana Santa "there are many eyes," so they temporarily follow the rules. This morning however, all was back to normal at two of our regular haunts. I asked what was up and was laughingly told, "It's Sunday; no one's looking."

17 comments:

  1. Hello Mitch:
    What a brilliant idea to have the churches open for viewing prior to the crowded processions through the streets. From what you photograph here, the workmanship which goes into the various 'paso' is absolutely exquisite. And, how marvellous that you have a front row seat for so many of the processions without even having to leave home!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J&L:
      The processions have begun. We just heard one in the distance, but the weather is rainy, so I'm not running to see it (although I might change my mind). The first to process right below our balconies occurs around midnight. Very exciting.

      Delete
  2. Have a great time! When it gets too much headphones and a book will do te rest. Or, and that's the naughty bit in me as a former RC, get a toilet-brush and a bucket of water and give them your blessing from the balcony. [I know you can see it in your mind, and we both know you wont do it]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter:
      I've got a sound spa and all I do is set it to "ocean"! As for the bucket... I thought water balloons would also be fun.

      Delete
  3. I'd get myself a comfy chair, a table, a bottle of wine, a book, and a camera, and I'd perch on my balcony all week long to watch the festivities!
    Sounds like quite the show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob:
      The camera case is permanently attached to my belt just in case. Sadly, it's raining on everyone's parades today (and probably tomorrow as well), but it's not stopping them.

      Delete
  4. Get yourself an El Pope outfit and stand on your balcony giving the Papal hand-gestures and blessings. Dangle a bucket down on some string and you'll probably make a fortune...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Owl Wood:
      I love this idea. But I might do better with tips if I didn't don the Pope outfit. Maybe I can sell bottles of Holy [Evian] Water.

      Delete
  5. Smart man you are Mitchell! With a view you guys have there's no sense being pushed around by the crowds. Fasten your seat belts fellas! Here come they come! Have fun and I know you'll take tons of photos, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here come they come?...honestly we do not talk that way....honestly! lol

      Delete
    2. Jim:
      Watch for the photos. And don't worry about typos. I figure that's just the way they speak in Nova Scotia.

      Delete
  6. Owl Wood makes a good suggestion! It seems like there are a lot of festivals and events going on in Sevilla so you could probably make a nice living!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      All I need is a ratty old accordion and some practice (very little practice) playing Cielito Lindo.

      Delete
  7. So overwhelming for a country boy like me... so glad I can view this on the page or on a balcony somewhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sophie/Ron:
      Yep, I have a feeling you wouldn't enjoy the crowds. I'll be sure to take lots of pics and videos.

      Delete
  8. It sure beats the austerity here in Phoenix when it comes to holy week. I think our parish has a soup and sandwich affair on Thursday. That's about it. No pagentry. no fun in that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ur-spo:
    It seems that everything here warrants a parade (and a special costume).

    ReplyDelete

It's always great to hear from you...