Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's hard not to think of burning crosses and lynchings

All over Spain Holy Week is celebrated with processions. In general associations, usually called Cofradrias or Hermandades, parade through the streets. Each one has a particular costume and is related to a saint or some such. They walk at a snails pace rocking from foot to foot in time to a drumbeat provided by a cornet and drum band. The groups carry, or wheel, statues of their Saint or Jesus or some other Christian symbol through the streets moving it from somewhere to the local church. The majority wear pointed hats, capuchones, or more correctly capirotes and that's why they look like the KKK. I presume that the mask is to hide their identity and a show of humility.

We have processions every night in Pinoso and the whole town seems to be out to either parade or watch. Fortunately, as with all things Spanish, the Spaniards are irrepresible. So although they shuffle along in a solemn and dignified way they occasionally throw back their face masks to greet their friends as they pass them by. The children are dressed up too down to the babies in the pushchairs and as the procession passes by the participants delve deep inside their robes and pull out handfuls of sweets to hand out to the bystanders.

One of the features of the Pinoso set up is a group called Centuria Romana who base their costume on the Roman soldiers from the film The Robe. They parade solemnly with the rest but when the parade gets to the town square they suddenly become all showbiz and do a bit of formation marching.

1 comment:

Jim and Liz Buchanan said...

We were in Majorca and stumbled on one of these events. It was very disconcerting and thrilling at the same time.
Look forward to you showing us these events, which are normally hidden from the average tourist.