"Do you go to the processions?" asked my Spanish-American hair stylist. "Yes, of course!" I replied from my seat in front of the mirror. And then we proceeded to talk about how much we love to go out for Semana Santa - how lively the town is, how much fun it is to join the crowds, gathering to eat and drink with friends.
What I'm trying to say, without sounding completely irreverent, is that yes, I do love the processions. For different reasons than the deeply devout, but there is just such a palpable energy in the streets, bars, restaurants, and on the beaches that can be felt and enjoyed by everyone. Which is probably due to a combination of Catholic fervor and the majority of the population enjoying vacation days. In Andalucía, Semana Santa is like a sneak peek of what summer will bring interlaced with age old religious traditions.
I went to downtown El Puerto several times during Semana Santa. Here are some pictures from the Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) and Viernes Santo (Good Friday) processions.
Domingo de Ramos
The pasos (floats) are carried by men called costaleros. For weeks leading up to Semana Santa, you can see them practicing in the streets.
Children make wax balls throughout the week using wax from the processional candles.
Spanish women in the traditional black lace mantilla.