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April 15, 2017

Granada - Dia Ocho

Another quiet morning hour - sitting in the sun almost finishing my book. Listening to the bells, the birds, and the band sounds floating up from the far off processions. I'm such a visual person that I relish sitting in a beautiful patio, surrounded by Spanish tile and a myriad of greenery with grape vines just beginning to flower overhead. Blissful!

Dani and Charles are upstairs talking long distance to a client and working on some editing projects. Nico is over at his friend, Gabby's, playing (I presume) the same things ten year olds play anywhere on the planet. I see around the corner the square they use for soccer. How they play on all the cobblestones is more than I can imagine. A lady came to the door the other day with a plastic bag filled with balls that had been lost in her yard. Evidently her wall is not as tall as other neighbors. Nico had only one ball in the bag, but she gave him the entire bag anyway.

After another sumptuous lunch of special jamon (Spanish ham) and cheese, and olives, and pickles, we later headed down to town to see two processions. There are at least four Semana Santa processions a day, more than 30 per year. Often they begin during the middle of the day and go into the early hours of the next morning. Each represents a brotherhood and the pasos (sculptures) are lodged in various churches. The highlight of each procession is the float carrying the Christ followed, at some point, the float carrying the Virgin Mary. They can be an hour or so apart or only fifteen minutes depending upon the length of the procession. The most dramatic participants are probably the hooded penitents and the camareras, or women dressed in black with the lace shawls and comb mantillas, carrying the huge candles. The 40 or so costaleros are underneath, carrying the several-ton floats on their shoulders, changing with another crew when it becomes too difficult. The other night, Charles observed a crew of women waiting to take their turn for a brief spell. Also included in each procession is the military, the city officials, the band, and others carrying the Christian cross and various other large banners.

Last night, we began with the fairly short Farroviarios procession through the middle of town. The Christ figure was hanging on a cross and the Virgin Mary in velvet followed 15 minutes later. After finding some patio seats at San Germain, a favorite restaurant of Dani's, we were joined by friends, Laurie and Jason. The men held our seats while Dani, Laurie, and I went to Plaza del San Augustine to see the Soledad procession which was very moving. Downtown there were lots of tourists and people shooting pictures. At the Soledad procession, most people were solemn and had no cameras. The Christ figure was prone, lying on a bier, and carried by costaleros on each side of the float instead of underneath. The Virgin Mary was the most beautiful I've seen, and resides in San Jeronimo monastery. Dani had spoken of her earlier. This procession also had lots of children accompanying the participants. It was very moving. The three of us made our way back to the restaurant so the men could meet up with the procession at another point.

I'm sorry that I still cannot put pictures on my blog, but they can be found on Facebook. This has been a fascinating and moving experience. I'm in awe of the amount of preparation and the sheer energy these procession take, and the feeling of the crowd that are generally so respectful and moved by the processions.

Posted by Marilyn at April 15, 2017 6:38 AM


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