Thursday, March 20, 2008

Seville Spain's Easter Holy Week: 17th Century Pagaentry

Virgin Mary Float, Los Javieres Fraternity
(Image - Sol)

It's called Semanta Santa, or Holy Week, celebrated in Seville, Spain, the week leading up to Easter Sunday. Brotherhoods, or Cofradias, march from their respective church to the Cathedral of Seville as decreed by Cardinal Nino de Guevara in the 17th Century.

The Penitents, Santa Genoveva Brotherhood
Image - The Guardian

Semanta Santa begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter with 57 Brotherhoods taking part in the procession to the Cathedral, the third largest in the world.

Penitents, Santa Cruz Brotherhood

There are four different Brotherhoods, Nazerenes, Penitents, Costaleros (Float Carriers), and Acolytes.

Penitents, El Cerro Brotherhood
Image - The Guardian

At times the number of spectators from around the world can reach a million.

The Christ of Santa Cruz Fraternity

Nazarenes are members of the fraternities which make up the procession. They carry candles and banners, wearing tunics, an antifaz (the piece of cloth covering the faces of nazarenos and penitents) and a capirote (the cardboard cone inside the antifaz, keeping it upright on the head). Source -Sol

Image - The Guardian

The Penitents are the members of the fraternity, who perform the authentic act of penitence, carrying a wooden cross, sometimes two, and, frequently, walking barefoot the whole distance of the procession. In many cases this is still done as an act of fulfillment of a promise to Christ. Source - S0l

Penitents, La Paz Brotherhood
Image - The Guardian

Source - Sol - Holy Week in Seville
Source - The Guardian - Holy Week in Seville - Bigger, Better!.
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info. I've practically grown up in Sevilla and frankly I just find this whole thing a major pain...They cut the traffic in the centre of the city, and it's all quite bizarre. Being an atheist, I never bothered much about it, except my in-law people are coming to visit next year coinciding with Holy Week, so I looked it up in Google, and found this, which is simple yet informative!
    Two or thee things I remember from this festivity when I was very little: So as not to frighten kids, the Nazarenos normally carry sweets about their person, and we kids used to approach them screaming "Nazareno, dame un caramelo!"
    (Nazareno, give me a sweet!"), and normally we came home with pockets full of sweets. Another thing we used to demand of them was wax! We had a few days out from school, and the idea was to make wax balls, take them to school and compare sizes!! So, we'd start off with a small tinfoil ball, and ask the nazarenos to drip hot wax on them. We'd often got burnt, but it didn't matter! As the candles are different colours depending on the Hermandad, the wax ball was quite pretty.
    One horrid thing, though...
    The extreme catholic young men go out wearing suits & ties, they worship these floats with most everyone else, get drunk and then often go relieve themselves up the Cathedral walls. Hipocrits! I dislike the whole catholic thing, but the Cathedral is a lovely building and the fact that is soiled by the very catholuc people is disturbing...


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