Yeah, right! - Writings by Brian Murdock

Posts Tagged ‘processions’

Madrid

April 3, 2012

Holy Week in Madrid 1

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So, when I am not trying to figure out why the stock market goes down when the Fed says that things are going well enough to pass over another stimulus plan; when I am not trying to get rid of the taste of the moldy bread I bit into this afternoon; I think about what I am going to do the rest of the week and it looks like I’ll be watching dozens of men with pointed hoods as they parade through the streets of Madrid.

       Yeap, you guessed it.  It’s Holy Week, and the only season and place where dressing up like a person who enjoys lynching on weekends is both respected and even revered.  This is the time for the great Holy Week religious processions, world famous in many cities in Andalucía and even up north in Castilla y León.  Heck, all over the place. Madridis little known for its procession but there are actually twelve of them scheduled for the next four days, so the streets of the old town should be pretty congested with lookalikes of a medieval executioners’ convention looking gloomy over the next couple of days.

        Many of these solemn events are enjoying a comeback in popularity and since I have never been in Madrid at this time of year, except for when I was about twenty and had nowhere else to go, I figure this is just about as good a time as any to see what’s up.

      Maybe a little rest would do first.

Madrid,Spanish wine,What's happening in Madrid

April 20, 2011

Holy Week Processions in Madrid…should you want to see one

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Semana Santa, or Holy Week, officially started on Sunday, and you can run into a procession or two around the area, but things don’t really kick off until today, Holy Wednesday.  Aside from collapsing the highways, the streets of numerous cities in Spain will also fill with crowds and solemn religious processions organized and performed by local societies.  The mainly male members of these groups parade around the town, often dressed in long gowns and pointed hats that eerily remind the untrained eye of a KKK meeting.  These traditional garbs go back centuries.  The societies (often called cofradías or hermandades) carry around what are essentially floats that depict different moments of the Passion of Christ, especially the sad part of it.  You see, the Spanish have a funny way of emphasizing the tragic side to this story, often ignoring all together the “happy ending” when Jesus comes back and triumphs over death.  Much of the rest of Europe highlight the final victory, while the Spanish focus on the fact Jesus was betrayed, unfairly tried and nailed to a cross.  The processions are proof of that, as ten of twelve of them take place between now and Good Friday, and the remaining two are on Saturday.   There is not one scheduled procession, parade, party, egg hunt or lamb dinner scheduled for Sunday, as far as I can tell.  That’s the day people have to drive back, which can be a calamity in itself. 

            Thank God I’ve got my bread for the torrijas.  The one I had in the section of stale and old things was so stale and old I can use it as a rolling pin.  I found a store that sells bread prepared specially for torrijas!  I’m half way there!