|Holy Week in Seville (Semana Santa)|
Holy Week in Seville (Semana Santa)|
Semana Santa (holy week/easter) has been one of the most significant celebrations in Seville since centuries. The Cofradias (Brotherhoods or fraternities) process in penitence through the (many narrow) streets of the city, from their church to the Cathedral and back, taking the shortest possible route, as prescribed in the rule of the ordinances by CardenaL Niño de Guevara in the 17th century.
If you want to understand what the holy week in Seville, you must know what the procession is all about.
The holy week commences on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), and ending on Domingo de Resurrección (Easter Sunday)
There are 57 brotherhoods that pay the religious visit to the Cathedral of Seville, the third largest Cathedral in the world.
Most brotherhoods carry two floats:-
I. A float with a Christ, representing the distinct stages of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ
II. A float with a Dolorosa (Mary the Virgin in pain) under a canopy.
Some brotherhoods even carry three floats.
Ø Resuming, in the eight days of Semana Santa, a total of 57 brotherhoods, carry their 116 floats from their church to the Cathedral and back, in the company of around 60,000 brothers participating in their different appearances of:-
· Nazarenos (Nazarenes)
· Costaleros (float carriers)
During the most crucial moments of Semana Santa in Seville : the early morning of Good Friday which is when the brotherhoods of el Silencio, el Gran Poder, La Macarena, El Calvario, La Esperanza de Triana and los Gitanos set off for their processional penitence to the Cathedralthe spectators may rise up to an impressive number of around one million.
Sometimes up to two thousand members of a brotherhood take part, some carry candles, rods or banners depending on their level of seniority. The most senior is the president who carries a golden rod.
The entire scene is alive with color and sound as music plays a significant part in the procedure. Bands of bugles and drums play marches and the procession stops at key points for a solo religious song: the saeta (literally arrow to the heart). Its mournful plaints echo through the streets making the people live and feel the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Lord.
Come to Seville and experience the passion, sacredness and the holiness with which this week is celebrated out here. You are sure to get enthralled and touched by this tradition which has remained unchanged for generations.
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