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Semana Santa

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Well, it's finally Spring Break! We have two and a half weeks off (woohoo!) and I am going to Italy just for a week of it. The reason being is because Spain has a lot of amazing holidays right now, and I really wanted to see them! For example, right now is the Semana Santa (Holy Week), and everyday there are numerous processions throughout the city. Now, processions here aren't like the 4th of July parades back in the States (although they have stands about every 20 feet selling candy...delicious.) These are very serious, and meant to be very sad. Each procession has kind of a basic formula: band, monks, float, monks, sometimes women in mourning, band. When you put it that way, it really doesn't sound too sad, but when you hear the music, it's really chilling almost. But all of the floats are absolutely amazing, adorned with candles, flowers, and so much detail. Usually the floats are centered around Jesus or the Virgin Mary, but they also have one with the entire Last Supper on it. Unfortunately, this year they are not bringing the Last Supper float out, since you need 800 people to carry it, and due to the economic crisis, the city of Alicante doesn't have enough money to pay for it. 

Although the floats are beautiful, I have to admit something: I have a huge fear of people wearning masks. Why is the important? Well, because the monks I mentioned before are all wearing masks like these:

Now I feel like I must say this just to clarify, because some of my friends back home have also yelled at me about this photo, but this is NOT a photo of the KKK, in any way, shape, or form. This is a religious procession in memorial of the death of Jesus Christ and is in no way affiliated. 

But now can you see why I would be a little creeped out? But I will admit that it's also kind of cool, because they have other colors as well, like purple, black and red, so after the third procession I was pretty used to them. But it's still really eery when I'm looking through my photos and I realize that one of the monks are looking at my camera directly. 

Tonight, since it's Holy Thursday, there is the silent procession at 11 pm. The city of Alicante cuts power to the main road where the procession passes, and the only light comes from the candles on the floats. Also, there are no bands, just people swaying back and forth, walking down the main road to the sea. I'm really excited to see it! It will be pretty hard to get pictures or video, due to the lack of light, but if you want to see a video of another procession (the procession from the photo of the monks above) you guys can click on the link below and watch it!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter if you celebrate it, and enjoy the spring weather!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRaVkyoPGDs

Julia
Italian • Boston, MA