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.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Corpus Christi in Elche de la Sierra

Elche de la Sierra is a town in Castilla la Mancha. The journey is from Culebríon in Alicante to Murcia and from Murcia to Albacete Province in Castilla la Mancha. The President of the community is a big noise politician in the ruling Partido Popular and I recognised her as she went into church for the Eucharist service. Those of you who know me will realise how remarkable this is.

I do some on-line surveys. One of the favourite topics is to ask if I recognise some celebrities and then to say whether I think they would be good stars for TV ads. I usually don't recognise anyone except the most internationally famous. I missed Shakira in the last one for instance until they gave me a clue! So recognising de Cospedal was out of character.

We were there to have a look at the sawdust carpets. These are exactly what they sound like. Individual groups are given a bit of street to decorate. Beforehand they make masks which are then placed on the street and coloured sawdust is sifted onto the mask to leave a coloured pattern on the streets. There is a competition for the best scene.

The church procession features lots of children who have taken their first communion this year and lots of women in mantillas and peinetas (the headdresses and high combs) and worthies like the President of the Community who escort the Eucharist displayed in one of sun shaped monstrances (custodia.)

The procession follows a route marked by sheets, table cloths, shawls and the like draped from balconies (at least that was what a woman told me but as all the rest of her information was wrong so this may be too) The procession also stomps all over the sawdust carpets.

Interesting little trip.

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