So I didn't dress up as an Easter witch today, I know, I am sooo lame! But I still do have the chance to follow a Spanish Easter tradition and dress up like a member of the Ku Klux Klan! Oh yay!
OK, not really. It is Semana Santa here in Spain this week, Holy week. From Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday, everyday is a spectacular pageant of devotion and also mourning to the final week of Jesus’ life. So you may encounter lifelike wood or plaster sculptures of individual scenes of the events that happened between Jesus' arrest and his burial, or images of the Virgin Mary showing grief for the torture and killing of her son.
The processions began in 15Th century Andalusia and became very fancy for the purpose of showing off Catholicism and bringing the religion out to the people and paraded through the streets for all to see.
The floats are carried on the shoulders of men called costaleros (sack men), under the burden of the float which weigh between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds, only their feet and calves are visible to the public (sometimes chained). Accompanying them are penitentes (penitents), members of the procession who repent their sins carrying crosses or holding burning candles. They wear distinctive robes and cone-shaped hoods to symbolize repentance and grief. (Info gathered from Naval Station Rota's Facebook page.)
I have still not yet been to see one of these parades... But will go tomorrow for the big one! It is supposed to be a very stunning experience with brass bands playing religious hymns or flamenco singing written for the occasion and also colors galore. Religious or not, it should not be missed!