Every city had its Easter Processions and own traditions. Every day in Easter had its own rules and stories to tell.
Throughout Easter week elaborate processions or “Pasos” are held all over Spain.
In Oviedo, the capital of Asturias, a brotherhood called The Students have reintroduced the medieval tradition of carrying the large wooden sculptures using only sackcloth and group strenght in order to tell the story of the passion of Christ.
The origin for the Semana Santa and Easter Processions in Catholic countries is purely educational. In the 1600`s the church decided that the best way to learn the common people about Christ and his life was through processions through the streets with figures and tableaux telling stories from the life of Jesus.
The most important element in the Easter Processions is the processions with figures and tableaux from the life of Jesus. These figures are placed on floats carried by strong men. The processions are like penances and shows Jesus life leading to his crucifixion. There are many ways to share the sufferings of Christ; some whips them while they are walking barefoot through the streets. Others are carrying heavy crosses or crawl on their knees through the whole procession and they do some times last for hours.
The floats are decorated with velvet, lace and glitter, flowers and a lot of light. People gather behind the floats dressed in long capes with the scaring hoods we associate with completely different things. Covered with a hood you can do your penance anonymous.
The Good Friday is characterized by gloom and seriousness. Every float is telling the story of crucifixion. The music is heavy and suffering. The drums present a grim echo in narrow streets with the crowds standing on both sides.
Many thanks to Antonio Capellán de la Riva who gives us a brief guide to the story behind the tradition and the efforts it takes to hold the event every year.
More info: Semana Santa en Oviedo
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