Friday, April 3, 2015

Semana Santa: It's Not Easy

The second segment of the large Semana Santa procession we saw in Málaga brought Maria Santísima De Nueva Esperanza (Blessed Mary of New Hope). After the lush purples of the previous penitents (see the previous post), these penitents in green and white seem very understated.

(Again, click any image for biblical proportions.)

TRYING TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE SCATTERED PENITENTS.
STOP IN THE NAME OF...
HOODS POINTING DUE NORTH.
MARY IS ON HER WAY.
SAD-EYED.
BAREFOOT.  UNSHOD.  DISCALCED...  DESCALZO.
SILVER HATS FOR THE AFTER-PARTY?
MARY ARRIVES IN A CLOUD OF INCENSE.
READY FOR HER CLOSE-UP.
IN PERFECT POLISH.
AND THE BAND (ONE OF THREE) PLAYED ON.
A "SAETERA" SINGING FROM A TERRACE.
(A SAETA IS A TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS SONG.)
LOOKING BACK FROM ACROSS THE STREET AS WE HEAD HOME.

It's not easy...

18 comments:

  1. Gorgeous, though i have a hard time with those hats ... even in green.

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    1. Bob:
      Although, they don't shock me anymore, they're still not my favorite thing.

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  2. Yup, the hats the hats... maybe this is where the idea of Easter Bonnets comes from ;)

    I wonder how they strike folks who aren't from the U.S., since we all seem to shudder and think of The Klan, no matter how much we know they aren't related.

    Enjoy your festivities, fellas!

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    1. Judy:
      I find most people I talk to, no matter where they're from, have the same klan-related reaction to the hoods. I've met plenty of Spaniards, too, that can't get the connection out of their heads.

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  3. Wow, that was quite an event! Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Linda:
      So many more processions through tomorrow. But I think I've seen enough for this year. Maybe next year, I'll pay for a seat and watch some of the huge ones go through old town.

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  4. Hey, Ray Charles stole Kermit's song! That's not right.
    Am I the only one who finds interest in the spelling of penitents? Okay, I'll ask straight - uh - up, Mitchell. Is "penitents" short for "penile tents?" They do look phallic. But I don't imagine it's be a regal feeling to have an erection growing out of one's -uh- head.
    Dang, I'm sorry. I ruined a perfectly weird green post.

    Happy weekend, Mitchell. xo

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    1. Robyn:
      I think Ray Charles made the song his own, don't you? As for the "peni-tents," I'm not at all surprised went 'there.' And, no, I don't think they're connected (groan)... Unless penis comes from the word penitent -- you know, like he feels he has to constantly apologize for thinking with his...

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  5. Mitchell, it is very unusual event and not common in Poland. What a pity.

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    1. Gosia:
      I had seen the annual Italian festivals in Little Italy in NYC (San Antonio's, San Genaro's), but nothing like this until our first year in Sevilla, which has 67 processions during Semana Santa and other processions throughout the year. Amazing.

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  6. It's interesting how much more religious the Spanish are than say, the Italians. But I do love the pageantry.

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    1. Stephen:
      Interestingly, the continued observance of these traditional Spanish Catholic customs don't necessarily equate to more religious fervour. Many participants are non-religious or even atheist. For a lot of people, these are now simply cultural traditions. Check out this recent article in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/world/europe/pillars-of-holy-week-processions-put-teamwork-and-brawn-on-display.html?_r=0

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  7. I couldnt quite decide whether to be amused or very slightly freaked out by that first photo

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    1. John:
      You usually don't catch penitents breezing down the street like that. There were a couple in this group who really worked to keep things in order (which was nice) but the sight of these "apparitions" floating down the street WAS funny AND freaky.

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  8. If I saw them coming toward me I would run for my life... and I don't run!

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    1. Jacqueline:
      In Sevilla, I went downstairs and stood at night among all the black-clad penitents in one of the most somber (and silent) of all the processions. It was fascinating and extremely creepy.

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  9. i am having some mixed feelings about the hat as well. i can understand that it's a cultural things but imagine someone here in the US wearing that....god bless them.

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    1. Mike:
      It made us really uncomfortable our first year here. I understand it now, but still find it unsettling... as do many of our friends here.

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