Humans of Semana Santa

Sunday, 26 April 2015

I wrote last week about spending Easter in Andalucia, Spain.

From my spectator's perspective I was awed by the sights and sounds of the extravagant, stirring processions. But behind this incredible spectacle were the thousands of people for whom these events meant so much more. The people who spent Holy Week marching for hours or bearing the huge weight of the floats through the streets. Or those who watch every year, moved to applause or spontaneous song as their favourite cofradías pass by.

I've collected just a few of my favourite 'human' moments from Semana Santa, showing in small part the experiences of those living, not just watching, the events...

Children collecting wax from the Nazarenos' candles, darting out to do so in any pause in proceedings.

Expertly negotiating their unwieldy paso around a tight corner, the strain on these men's faces melted into relieved grins when they rested the float down shortly afterwards.

Two Nazarenos, hungrily sharing chocolate in a break in the marching, surreptitiously slipping squares of Kinder Bueno under their hoods.

The bare feet of a young mantilla (women dressed all in black, draped in lace headdresses). I'm not sure if her feet had always been bare or if she'd shed their heels after the hours of walking.

A slightly dazed costaleros, readying himself before these men lifted this massive float clean above their heads. The physical exertion of carrying the pasos was etched into the face of every costaleros, but so was a sense of joy and honour at the job they were doing. At every break, the men would grin and grab each other's shoulders, camaraderie and adrenalin abundant.

April 2015, 2 Days Malaga, 3 Days Granada
Olympus E-PL5 + M.Zuiko 45mm

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