Semana Santa Processions 2

Wednesday’s Semana Santa procession clashed with Real Madrid v Barcelona. Half the village was drinking beer and shouting at the football on screens in and outside the bars; the rest getting antsy under the float bearing Jesus on the cross, or sitting by the church in serge suits polishing their trombones, or smoking and checking their mobiles dressed in klu klux klan outfits – actually, the long gowns and hoods representing someone’s idea of the garb of the Nazarenes, or people or Nazareth. In the end the grand and sombre procession set off on the dot of half time. It did a circuit of the village, this time adding in a long 1:4 hill, and the band played and marched for two hours. They are now no longer rusty after the winter hiatus.
There was a five-minute hold-up part-way through when Madrid scored, and the band and Nazarenes, and many of our neighbours behind, had to loiter around the corner until decorum was restored, and people had been pushed out – temporarily locked out – of Bar Nino to pay their respects to the passing procession. On the whole, the villagers juggled loyalty to the church and loyalty to football slickly and in well-practised fashion. Once Jesus was back in the church at around 12.30am, the men who’d been shuffling underneath him made it to the bar for some hours of refreshing drinks. I recognised their shoes.
The sight of dark hooded figures en masse is dramatic and chilling; and maybe weirder still when you come across two or three leaning against the wall of your house shooting the breeze. They also look odd when they’re texting.
We’re gearing up to the Good Friday procession and Easter Sunday now. The tables outside white tables and orange tables and Bar Gallo are full of revellers, a horse just galloped up the road, some kids are playing with a whistle that makes squawking duck noises, the Guardia Civil are moving the barricades around, and it’s 25 degrees.

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