April 9, 2012

Semana Santa en Avila


The above picture from the procession that kicked off the start of the Holy Week celebrations here in Avila gives an accurate representation of where the minds of the majority of Spaniards are come Easter Sunday. They are more focused on the sacrifice of Christ's death than the impact of His resurrection, and they are certainly more concerned with the pain (emotional, I'm assuming) that His mother endured than I have ever been in my Protestant-American life.

Interestingly enough, in the words of one of my dear Spanish professors (translated, of course), "Sunday doesn't mean anything to us except that the parties are over." I'm sure that is not the mindset of every Spaniard, but it seemed as though Sunday came and went just like any other day in Spain.

Below is a video taken the first night of Semana Santa. Compared to processions or parades in the US, this one is very dark and frightening at first glance--it's nighttime, the procession is very slow, and talking is strongly discouraged. Unfortunately, due to the poor lighting, it was very hard to get a good photo of the most interesting hats some of those in the procession were wearing (Click here to see). And if that doesn't freak you out at night, I don't know what will! The explanation is quite simple: these costumes originated in Spain to show an act of penance, but it was employed by another notorious group in the US for different reasons. Despite the "creepiness" factor, I have to say I never seen anything like it, and to experience it in person, was fascinating!

 Comment below to tell me what you think!


2 comments:

  1. Very neat! So interesting what other cultures do - it's amazing how sheltered you are when all you know is "how" YOU do it, so to speak. I love the stronger emphasis on the crucifixion and the pain and suffering. We forget the COST Christ paid for us, but I agree Jess - sad that there is no focus on the end goal - RESURRECTION LIFE! That's where the victory and eternal joy come from making the pain all worth while.

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  2. Yeah, it's almost like it's another excuse to party for most people. Kind of like Christmas in the US.

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Thanks for your thoughts!

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