Semana Santa, Holy Week, Seville, Spain
The top level of three walkways beside Seville’s river.
Semana Santa Seville, Holy Week, before Easter
Nazarenos in traditional formation, some in bare feet.
An apparently scary sight – especially for African Americans – but actually these Catholic men and women are melancholic penitents performing public acts of penance. They are also exhausted after shuffling around the old town for hours enclosed in their own mobile saunas. The bugcrew were exhausted just watching them.
Between the Cathedral and Convento de la Encarnation a paso is preceded by a clutch of hoodies (officially: nazarenos) on the Thursday before Easter. There are over 60 similar processions, day and night, over the week before Easter but Thursday is the most important day.
Plaza Virgen de los Reyes.
Semana Santa penitents
Over 30 brotherhoods have been holding pre-Easter Semana Santa processions in Sevilla since the 16th century but more recently other cities in Spain have been promoting/developing the Semana Santa occasion, and not necessarily for religious reasons. The out-of-season tourist potential is huge, though the Bugcrew noticed that the majority of spectators in Seville were Spanish tourists from other regions.
The interior structure of the hood has a tendency to topple backwards so many nazarenos have to pull the cloth downwards at the front to prevent the hood from dragging their faces off.
A paso, portable shrine passes through Sevilla’s back streets.
Wheel-less pasos weigh over a ton and are carried by 20 or 30 heroic, invisible hulks who can see nothing and and hear nothing except shouted movement instructions from an overseer walking next to the gilded juggernaut.
On pasos, gold décor signifies Christ is the object of adoration and silver the virgin.