Tag Archive | Holy Week processions

The Sounds of Holy Week

I’m sure that by now, especially if you are a “Spain-o-phile” lol, you must have seen dozens of photos of the Holy Week processions (and much better than the ones I’m going to post here!). But have you HEARD what Holy Week sounds like here in Spain?

So here I am posting a couple of recordings that I made of the music that they play. Just stare at the photos, imagine a cool night breeze brushing gently against your face (it was a warm night though, 22 degrees), listen to the sounds of Holy Week and pretend that you are surrounded by crowds of devotees and you can even transport yourself there and experience a Holy Week procession for yourself!

Well I couldn’t upload any music so I made a video instead! I invite you to check it out here (I put it in my son’s channel cuz I haven’t got one, in case you’re wondering about the name, oooh I’m so behind the times……):

or here, if the above link doesn’t work:

http://youtu.be/UZrqljbkEos

And while we’re at it, I put up a new demo too on MySpace, I invite you to check it out here:

Medley from Serena Amadis on Myspace.

or here, if the above link doesn’t work:

https://myspace.com/120763532/music/songs

Well that is pretty much all we have been up to these days!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Preparing for Holy Week

Pa Amb Tomàquet

Poetry by Hermenegildo: Bienvenida Sea La Primavera

Bye Bye Birds!

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Holy Week in Malaga

I wasn’t going to put up a post on Holy Week, but we went to see processions and they were so beautiful, I just had to take some photos even though I hadn’t brought the camera along. But I’ve got a mobile phone, even though it doesn’t take such nice photos as the camera.

Cross

On Holy Thursday, the city is filled with processions running up and down all over the place. You can do like what we started to do, which was “procession hopping”, jumping about from one procession to another to see all the different religious statues, or tronos.

However we soon got tired of that activity, and just decided to situate ourselves next to the Alameda, the main thoroughfare in Malaga, because all the processions pass down that way at some point.

Penitents

These people carrying a glittering cross and wearing “cone hats” are penitents.

Trono de virgen

There’s a lot of religious fervour and excitement during Holy Week processions. Even people who haven’t entered into a church for the past fifty years feel awe-struck.

Spectators also applaud the brave and strong men who bear the tronos as they pass by. Each trono-bearer is carrying about 20 kg. on his shoulder. This is very exhausting work and they deserve all that applause, encouragement and confetti!

Niños aburridosHowever, the ones who would probably rather be sitting at home playing with their Nintendo or Gamebox are…… the kiddies. Here are some who are clearly bored out of their minds. But fortunately, today we have portable electronic apparatuses to play with.

Rows of Penitents

My son was quite fascinated by the penitents. He told me that he wanted me to fashion him a cone-shaped hat covered with velvet to wear around the house, and a huge gilded staff like the ones that the penitents carry.

My son’s cousin, a hale and hearty teenager, decided to participate in a procession this year bearing a trono. This wasn’t due to any religious zeal. He just wanted to know what it felt like. He ended up all ground up and declared that he was never going to do this again.

A little boy by our side apparently also had his father carrying a trono. As the statue paraded past us, the little kid just wouldn’t stop screaming at his dad to look at him.

Given the number of processions taking place each year, and the number of men required to make them happen, most of the inhabitants of Malaga probably know someone personally who is bearing a trono.

Another cross

Religion is a pretty important theme during Holy Week, of course – but so is partying! Everywhere we went, it seemed more like a carnival or a fair rather than a supposedly sombre religious event commemorating a rather tragic occurrence. There were people at stands selling everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to donuts and home-grown lemons.

Papas asadas

I think the line-ups to get baked potatoes stuffed with delicious hot filling were just as long as the ones to see a trono pass by.

Apparently, on Holy Thursday all of the processions consist of two tronos coming out of every church that participates. The first trono is always a statue of a cross, Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ on a cross. He is always followed by a statue of his mother, the Virgin Mary. Because if they were carting your son off to hang him, wouldn’t you go running after him too?

Cristo en la cruz

Well, I took a few more photos but I got so tired editing them, and besides which, they were all pretty much more of the same, and not such good quality anyways (after all, I do not have an iPhone!). In the end, what caught my fancy was this large tree with its roots hanging off of the high branches.

Tree Roots Hanging From Tree

I have no idea what this tree is called though. You can see the full moon shining beside it.

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Preparing For Holy Week

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Flowers for the Dead on the Day of the Dead

Our Visit to Hare Krishna

Preparing for Holy Week

I’d been getting this post ready for the past week or so, and then I realized that I’d better get it up soon or as they say in Spanish, “se me iba a pasar el arroz”. Which just simply means something like, the right time is about to pass you by.

Sentencia

Sorry for the rather iffy quality of the photos, I took them all with the mobile phone, just little reminders posted everywhere as I walked about town, about the imminence of Holy Week and its numerous processions (procesiones de Semana Santa).

Semana Santa Malaga

People get really excited about Holy Week processions around here. Even very young people (like teenagers), whom you would expect would be more into fashion or clubbing than religion, show tremendous zeal and anticipation. And several young men that I know with big, strong shoulders can talk about nothing else for weeks except the “trono” that they are planning to bear around the city.

Cristo Triston

As you can see, everyone gets in on the act, and even the owners of convenience stores have Holy Week posters up.

Because, of course, all of those heavy “tronos”, or religious statues, that you will see marching around during Holy Week, are borne solely by the shoulders and feet of the “trono-bearers”. Each procession lasts for several kilometres, so you can imagine the exhaustion that these people face. But they are very proud of what they do and even compete with each other for the privilege of bearing a trono around town.

Encierralo

This is a poster with a play on words. It’s urging people to shut their cars up at home during Holy Week and come to see the processions by bus, in order not to clog up the frenetic traffic downtown. However, it’s also playing on the term “encierro”. Encierro means to shut something up, like your car in the garage, but an encierro is also when the procession is finished and the trono is brought to rest in its “home” in the church that it belongs to.

There was one other scene that I wanted to capture on film (well, digital film, nowadays), a religious scene that was set up in a shop window, but whenever I passed by the lighting was never right. Either it was too bright and everything was reflecting in the window, covering up the scene underneath the pane, or it was night-time and too dark. If I ever manage to pass by at just the right moment, I’ll flash a pic of it and post it up here too.

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29M: A General Strike or a Religious Procession?

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Midnight and All Is Well

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29M: A General Strike Or…… A Religious Procession?

Hello to all you lovely angelic beings who read this blog! Although you might have noticed I’m not much of a blogger. (The fact that I’ve got a job that gets me out around midnight most days probably doesn’t contribute very much to my “blogability”, I guess……)

But today I really felt like commenting on something curious I noticed yesterday.

Women's Trono Holy Week

Yesterday was “strike day” here in Spain, where they carried out a general day-long strike all around the country. Of course I went to work, because if they kicked me out at work for going on strike one day, do you think the strikers, the protesters and the union leaders were going to lift a finger to help me get my job back? Noooooooooooo……

Strike 29M

No, truth is, the only thing the strike did for me was make me wait three hours instead of one for a bus, because most of the drivers were on strike (all right I exaggerate, I don’t normally wait one hour for a bus either, but I did have to wait about three times longer than usual for one of those marvellous vehicles that serve for collective transportation).

In my personal and most humble opinion, I think that strikes only serve the interests of people who have the most to lose, because they already have a lot anyways, such as the wealthy, public servants, etc. At any rate, all people who can afford to buy a car.

However, I do have to note that I was pleasantly surprised to observe that, at least here in Malaga, there was a lot more religious zeal than political zest. Because around here, instead of going off to protest marches, most people went to…… religious processions!

Women Bearing Trono Holy Week

As you can see, it was a “women’s procession”, where the women were the protagonists and they carried the trono, thus demonstrating to the world that women are every bit as strong and capable as men, and can do what men do.

Float at Night Holy Week Procession

In truth, I would bet that here in deep south Malaga religion and Catholic fervour have done more for women and equal rights than any political act or protest march.

Women's Trono Holy Week

It was a really lovely ending to a tiring day of answering telephones at work while the rest of the city (mostly public servants, probably) protested in the streets.

Light Bearers Holy Week Processions

Although I doubt that there was a great deal of protesting going on here in the languid south, where most people were too busy attending the religious processions anyways. And if anyone did protest, it was probably because their mug of beer with tapas in the local tapas bar was taking too long to arrive at the table……

And now on to another subject, if you’ve got your own blog would you like to do a blog exchange? A blog exchange is when I publish the avatar of your blog with a link to your blog here on my blog, and you do the same for me.

It’s a great way of getting more people to get to know and read your blog, and move out of your habitual circles. Apparently it’s something that Google bloggers do all the time, at least here in Spain (but I haven’t seen it in WordPress…… yet.) If you’re interested, click here on Blog Exchange to read more and find out how we can exchange blogs.

Sweet dreams everyone!

Holy Week Processions