Semana Santa

Old Apr 19th 2011, 9:17 pm
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Default Semana Santa

I know that the processions for Semana Santa are national but wondered whether they vary a lot from area to area. In our town they are viewed as extremely important and the town is fully involved. The first time that we saw them was on a visit prior to moving into our house and must admit that we found them a bit spooky. Now of course we do not find them spooky at all but find them very moving.

They practice the drumming for many weeks prior to the first procession and I have been amazed at how young some of the drummers are. I bet that the sale of toy drums increase around this time too.

What is the traditional Semana Santa food in your area or is this totally national?

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Old Apr 19th 2011, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Semana Santa

Originally Posted by The Oddities
I know that the processions for Semana Santa are national but wondered whether they vary a lot from area to area. In our town they are viewed as extremely important and the town is fully involved. The first time that we saw them was on a visit prior to moving into our house and must admit that we found them a bit spooky. Now of course we do not find them spooky at all but find them very moving.

They practice the drumming for many weeks prior to the first procession and I have been amazed at how young some of the drummers are. I bet that the sale of toy drums increase around this time too.

What is the traditional Semana Santa food in your area or is this totally national?

Rosemary
we don't have a parade at all

the primary school takes the kids to the beach on the last day of term & they eat monas de pascua

but that's about it...
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Old Apr 19th 2011, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Semana Santa

I am amazed that you do not have any processions. We have a nightly procession with them all dressed in their outfits and playing the drums as though their lives depend on it for 10 days and an additional procession at mid-day on Palm Sunday.

What about any special Semana Santa food in restaurants or shops?

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Old Apr 19th 2011, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Semana Santa

We´ve got quite a few processions here in Ayamonte, most fun are the practise runs we´re they make use of airtyres under the floats. Traditionally people eat coca during the holy week.
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 12:07 am
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Default Re: Semana Santa

Originally Posted by The Oddities
I am amazed that you do not have any processions. We have a nightly procession with them all dressed in their outfits and playing the drums as though their lives depend on it for 10 days and an additional procession at mid-day on Palm Sunday.

What about any special Semana Santa food in restaurants or shops
?

Rosemary
not that I've noticed

just the monas de pascua


there is a craft fair in the old town, though
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 1:13 am
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Default Re: Semana Santa

Had to laugh the other evening because everything was very serious and solemn and a someone in the procession I know spotted me watching. She caught my eye and asked how OH is now, followed by thumbs up, beaming smile and sending her regards to him and back to the serious face again. No wonder we are no longer spooked by the whole thing.

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Old Apr 20th 2011, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Semana Santa

Nerja had their first parade tonight, and three more to come!
Attached Thumbnails Semana Santa-semana-santa.jpg  
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 6:34 am
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Arrow Re: Semana Santa

Semana Santa is huge in Velez-Malaga, where I live. There will be 3 separate processions tonight, 5 tomorrow and another 5 on Friday night. The last one tomorrow starts at 21.30 and isn't scheduled to finish until 03.15 the next morning. Some of the tronos are so massive there are up to 160 men carrying them.

My favourite one is tonight, which includes the image of Maria Santissima de los Desamparados. She is called La Reina de la Villa, La Villa being the medieval quarter of the town where I live. They carry the trono up and down the steps leading to the Puerta Real, the arched gateway leading into La Villa, 3 times in quick succession to salute the camarin in her honour which is set high into the old city walls, with the men carrying her chanting 'Viva, Viva, La Reina de la Villa'. I'm not religious but it still brings tears to my eyes.

I also like the Friday night procession which includes the soldiers and musicians of La Legion Espanola, they do some very impressive displays of drill at various points during the procession.

Normally at midnight on the Friday preceding Good Friday we have a silent, candlelight procession down past my house from the 15th century church at the top of the street, taking Christ on the Cross to be mounted on to the trono for a procession later in the week, which is very atmospheric, but this year sadly it didn't happen as the street is dug up for improvement works. Shame they couldn't have waited for a few weeks before they started.

I'm impressed by how the young people still seem very keen to take part, I'm sure it wouldn't be regarded as a very 'cool' thing to do back in the UK!

I haven't noticed any special kinds of food being offered for sale in shops or on restaurant menus, though.
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 11:51 am
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Default Re: Semana Santa

As an aside to the processions, and after the smoking ban.
I found out tonight, a bar owner can still light as many incense burners as he likes during semana santa, causing billowing clouds of intensely pungent choking fumes to fill the bar.

The air is much fresher outside sitting amongst the smokers
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 9:52 pm
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I knew very little about Semana Santa apart from having just read a novel by that very same title a couple of weeks before sailing into Cadiz on route to the Costa Blanca.
I took a room in a town centre street and had a little walk about early afternoon.
Not a single sole to be seen apart from one weird character looking like a member of the K.K.K. who dashed across the street into a house.

All very strange methinks before retiring for my siesta.

About a couple of hours later I awoke to bang,bang,bang outside, jumped out onto the terrace and saw the previously deserted street absolutely choca block with ppl and this strange procession coming along.
The performance was repeated until the last night when it continued for many hours with possibly eight seperate processions going by.

It all came as a bit of a surprise, not expecting it or knowing anything about it, apart from just having just read the novel entitled Semana Santa, some of which coincidently was set in those very same streets of Cadiz during the very same parades where purely by chance we had ended up with grandstand view.

The guys underneath the main float have a very rough job and it seemed especially so in Cadiz, where they had absolutely no protection, only bare skin or what little was left of it, as some of them were red raw around the shoulders and others were grazed or bleeding from the weight and friction of the huge timbers which looked almost akin to sizable tree trunks.
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 10:06 pm
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Is the book by David Hewson? Is it a good read?

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Old Apr 20th 2011, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Semana Santa

Originally Posted by The Oddities
Is the book by David Hewson? Is it a good read?

Rosemary
Difficult to recall now, it's quite a while ago, but I think it was reasonable.
I recall it mainly for the final chapters which were set amongst the Semana Santa processions in the streets of Cadiz.
However much of it was based around the bull fighting fraternity in S.W.Spain on which I'm not quite so keen.
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Old Apr 21st 2011, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Semana Santa

Originally Posted by Dick Dasterdly
Difficult to recall now, it's quite a while ago, but I think it was reasonable.
I recall it mainly for the final chapters which were set amongst the Semana Santa processions in the streets of Cadiz.
However much of it was based around the bull fighting fraternity in S.W.Spain on which I'm not quite so keen.
Thanks for the info. It is definitely not a book for me then. With the title I thought that it might have been an interesting read.

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Old Apr 21st 2011, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Semana Santa

It might be interesting for some, to know that this parade goes back to the days of the Inquisition, which also spread into the regions of America conquered by Spain, including Texas and so forth, where it became the inspiration for the KKK´s frightening dress code- although the actual KKK was founded by Protestants who came later, it ows its peculiar ways to the old Spanish Holy Brotherhood (or Spanish Inquisition, as it were)
As you may know, the cowboy tradition is a direct influence of Southern Spain on the New World, and that includes the stupid parafernalia of the KKK. Of course this is only a tradition now in Spain, but I still find it spooky.
Fortunately, a lot of those festivals and traditioms which are entrenched in what is called "Deep Spain" are not at all a part of the culture of Atlantic Spain, where there isn´t much of a show during Semana Santa beyond a bunch of bag pipers marching under your window, making your hangover a hellish experience.
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Old Apr 23rd 2011, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Semana Santa

Unfortunately our largest procession when they carry six different images around the town had to be cancelled due to the heavy rain. Fortunately however it was clear this morning for the singers to go around the streets at 7.30 am so at least the weather only affected one of the rituals. I particularly like to hear the these singers but it only happens twice a year.

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