Sunday, March 27, 2016

Semana Santa takes over Seville

Today is Easter Sunday and we've had an entire week of Semana Santa festivities leading up to it. No one does Semana Santa like Seville, they took over the town for 7 days, entertaining and leading processions until 5 am in the morning on some nights. An awesome gathering of many forces to make this happen, bringing people from all over to see the spectacle. And it happened every day for hours in many different places, it's hard to grasp the scope of this event.
Joe and I have had a blast photographing it, I could fill 5 blogs, and may... but for today here's another group of images from the procession yesterday. I don't remember what Brotherhood they are from or their size and path, I call them the green procession. Each one has their own color scheme, down to the color of their 4 foot candles.
For vocabulary purposes these are the names associated with Semana Santa, and you hear them a lot!
Nazareneos: The pointy head people that are walking off their sins. Also called Penitents.
Costaleros: The men that hold up the 1 ton float and wear thick head coverings.
Paso: The float
This is by no means official, it's just my interpretation.
With my trusty Canon 6D and 24-105mm lens I mostly stood in one spot and this is what I saw!!!

They started at this particular spot on the route with the lighting of the candles, as in 500+ of them.

 Collecting wax into balls is very popular with the children, they compare and see who got the most wax :-) You can see the boys in the background doing just that.

The Costaleros. They work very hard carrying that huge Paso. This group of them were waiting for the Paso, float, to come by so they could swap with the team that was under the Paso.

A religious experience, the expressions I caught look like religious agony, but I think it was just the timing. No one really looked like they were in anguish.

 I popped into the street to get this one. I'm one of many on the sidelines trying to see.

A discussion??

A close up of a Nazarenos. That's his candle he's carrying, and will for many hours in the dark as it drips all over the streets.

Don't know what these participants are called, but loved the photo.

Another unknown participant with an unusual hat.

The Paso comes by, so elaborate, all fresh flowers. Touching it is a special privilege.

The change of the guards took place, and this is one of the men that was under the Paso that was just released. They looked very hot.

 Then came the band, wonderful music!

Lots of beautiful babies!

After that procession passed, we walked to the see the grandstands here. A few seats were filled in anticipation of the procession coming by soon.
This entire area was built just for the 8 days festivities, new asphalt even was poured. The white wax streaks in the street are from thousands of lit 4 foot candles being carried by.

 People lined up at special seats along the streets, waiting.

Some Costaleros being agreeable and posing for us. 
These had finished a stint under the Paso, maybe before the group we saw. It takes a large pool of men to keep those Pasos going through town for 12 hours with only man power to move them.

They wanted me to take a picture with Joe in their group. Fun guys!

No matching shirts, so they must be with another Brotherhood.

This group caught my eye, the children were playing so well together as the 4 of them walked along... to a procession perhaps?

Back home at our apartment the Geraniums are blooming... Happy Easter!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Semana Santa Starts in Seville, Spain

Samana Santa has begun and what an an amazing production it is! I am blown away by all the preparations and energy behind this annual event, it involves thousands of people working together to provide 60 processions going throughout the city for 8 days. Huge processions, some with over 2000 people in them and lasting for 12 hours, a sight to behold! I am not a religious person, but can appreciate this incredible tribute to the Catholic religion achieved only with the cooperation and focus of many devoted people.

Young children following the tradition of doing penance for their sins while not being recognized by wearing these robes and pointy hats. 
When most Americans see an image like this they think of the KKK. But there is no connection whatsoever, these Penitentes adopted this look long before America was discovered. Read more about the pointy hats, Capirote, here:

 Beginning of the procession, one of many throughout Seville.

 The hood seems to be held forward by grabbing the cloth, or they can't see out the eye holes.

Elaborate robes and silver are in the processions, too.

 Women also walk the long roads through town, sometimes for up to 12 hours!!

For as far as you can see.

Candy and religious cards are handed out.

 Every Brotherhood has it's own color scheme uniform.

 Touching the float or paso gives you good luck, quite crowded right near them.


 Wonderful music from some talented bands add to the aura of the procession.

 Getting in place before the procession comes through. People dress up for this, jacket and ties on many of the men. 

 The band was loud!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Life in Plaza del Salvador, Seville

More images on the theme of people in the streets of Seville. Since I'm mostly walking in the streets that's where I see people, sometimes inside in the bars and restaurants. Outside is the preferred place to be, and in this city everyone else seems to think the same way!
Most of these are taken in Plaza del Salvador, we are often there, great area of activity.

The most charming Spanish father and daughter, we shared a beer in Plaza del Salvador. She attends a private all English school and spoke English in the most delightful way. She and I bought Macarena pins together, check out her coat.

I call this "Then and Now". The young boy will be an older man someday, and the man was once a young boy. He may be looking for his younger self...

Two well dressed brothers running wild in the plaza. 

 Love the earrings!

 Another view of the plaza.

 Old time look, the plaza has been here long before photography.

 He looks like a bad guy in a movie, Snape in the Harry Potter movie??

Very creative haircuts/sideburns in Seville.

 They were happy to pose for me, amigos!

 Another bachelorette party, having a good time!

Close to full moon, near the Cathedral.

 They kept track of our drinks and tapas by writing with chalk directly on the bar, new one on me.

 Slow shutter speed, I liked the happy accident.

Beautiful evening last night!

Dinner under the orange trees.

Happy child.